In this post, I am discussing characters in traditional writing.

When reading as zhan4, I wonder what the difference between 佔 and 占 is. Is there a division in use by meaning? Or, is one totally preferred over the other?

  • 佔 is not used in simplified Chinese.
    – fefe
    Commented Oct 8, 2023 at 8:16

2 Answers 2


When reading as zhàn, the word meaning to occupy/seize has historically been written with both 「佔」 and 「占」.

The following may give an indication of the preferences of the spellings in various Traditional-Character-using areas, based on how publicly-available dictionaries record vocabulary:

  • I just want to add, I checked my hongkong published dictionary and it listed both as equally acceptable (佔優勢。∥也作「占」。) Perhaps it is part of the modern internet, but I do think alternate official characters are intermingling a lot in the current day (^_^)
    – zagrycha
    Commented Oct 8, 2023 at 6:52
  • @zagrycha In this answer, I made sure to mention what the primary entry (the entry where the full definition is given) was. If your dictionary is a 詞典 (not 字典), you can check as well.
    – dROOOze
    Commented Oct 8, 2023 at 6:57
  • sorry for the confusion, and to be clear I am not at all disagreeing with your main post. Yes it is a 詞典, and this dictionary usually does not list alternate characters at all, unless it considers them equally accptable to use-- things that are just considered general 異體字 get no mention in that dictionary at all-- not a 𤔡 or 盐 to be seen even though I see both in hk, they aren't recognized enough. Anyway it was just an anecdotal note I thought was interesting of things mixing (^_^)
    – zagrycha
    Commented Oct 8, 2023 at 7:11


divine; practise divination.

to divine

As in 占卜


occupy; seize; take possession of

As in 佔領

"Occupy" and "seize" are human activities, therefore, it has radical: 亻 (human)

The two characters are only related by having similar phonetics since 占 is the phonetic component of 佔

Notice: 占 is also used as the simplified character of 佔, Therefore, 佔領 in simplified Chinese would be 占領, and it is read as /zhan4 ling3/ not 占領 /zhan1 ling3/

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.