Both "言" and "四" are radicals (部首). For "", the radical is 言, not 四. Why? In general, when there is more than one part which can be a radical, which one will be the radical for the character?

1 Answer 1


部首 is typically (but not in all cases) used to illustrate a character's fundamental feature.
means to curse, so it is related with (speak, remark, words etc.).

  • Thanks! It makes perfect sense. When I look the character up in a dictionary, I need to know the radical before knowing the meaning of the character.
    – Zuriel
    May 29, 2021 at 0:55
  • @Zuriel I would strongly recommend using handwriting recognition tools attached to a digital dictionary, like Pleco, and not paper dictionaries which rely on the radical system.
    – dROOOze
    May 29, 2021 at 1:28
  • Cool! Please select my reply as the answer :)
    – Shrinetown
    May 29, 2021 at 4:29
  • Just as 咒, (Zhòu), (religious incantations / "curse"), where both 口 & 几 are radicals, has the "mouth" radical, in fact two "mouths", in case one gets tired I suppose or perhaps two mouths are louder than one? :) "几", ( jǐ ), looks like and stands for a small table. May 30, 2021 at 4:24

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