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Translingual[edit]

Stroke order
不-order.gif
Stroke order
不-bw.png

Etymology[edit]

不 不 不
Oracle bone script Bronze inscriptions Large seal script Small seal script

Pictogram (象形)

The character originated as a pictograph of the calyx of a flower. It was then composed into a phono-semantic character with the pictograph for mouth ( ), to form , representing "no", negation. This composed meaning then spread back to the original character 不, making it a synonym of 否. A new character of was eventually created to represent the original meaning of calyx.

A seed under the ground () with roots at the bottom. Original form of , embryo. In some form of the large seal script, the character is inside another element, probably a womb. The seed has been linked to the meaning of negation by saying that the root is the unwanted part of the plant. But the current meaning comes from sound loan.

Karlgren and Weiger interpret it as a bird flying toward the sky (). The sky being the limit for the bird, thus the idea of negation.

References[edit]

  • "" (in Mandarin), 字源. URL accessed on 2014-02-24.
  • Richard Sears, "" (in English/Mandarin), Chinese Etymology. URL accessed on 2014-02-24.

Han character[edit]

(radical 1 +3, 4 strokes, cangjie input 一火 (MF), four-corner 10900)

Descendants[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • KangXi: page 76, character 15
  • Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 19
  • Dae Jaweon: page 149, character 4
  • Hanyu Da Zidian: volume 1, page 11, character 6
  • Unihan data for U+4E0D

Chinese[edit]

simpl. and trad.

Pronunciation[edit]


Old Chinese pronunciation (, reconstructed)
Baxter-Sagart system (2011)
Character Modern Beijing
(Pinyin)
Middle Chinese Old Chinese English
‹ pjuw › /*pə/ not
Zhengzhang system (2003)
Character No. Phonetic
component
Rime
group
Rime
subdivision
Corresponding
MC rime
Old Chinese Notes
1025 0 /*pɯ/
1029 0 /*pɯʔ/ 象花柎與本同源
1048 1 /*pɯ'/ 中古才促化

Adverb[edit]

  1. not
    • John 1.5
      光照在黑暗里,黑暗却接受光。
      Guāng zhào zaì hēiàn lǐ, hēi'àn què jiēshòu guāng.
      And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
    This is not good.
  2. no;

Usage notes[edit]

  • The tone changes from fourth to second tone when followed by a fourth-tone syllable.
  • When negating the verb (to have), (Cantonese: ) is used instead of 不.
  • The word no does not have a translation in Chinese. To awser no to a yes/no question ( either "affirmative-negative questions" (正反問句/正反问句) or question) , you have to use the verb of the question in negative form, i.e. preceded by (or by in the case of ).
  1. 認識認識認識認識 [Beijing Mandarin, MSC, trad.]
    认识认识认识认识 [Beijing Mandarin, MSC, simp.]
    Nǐ rènshí tā ma? / Nǐ rènshí bù rènshí tā? Bù rènshí [Pinyin]
    Do you know him? No.
  • If there is no verb to negate in the context, 不是 is used.
    No can be translated by alone but this is formal and not standard Chinese.

Synonyms[edit]

  • used to negate
  • no (formal)
  • 不是 no (as answer of a yes/no question)
  • ("do not"; dialectal "not")

Antonyms[edit]

  • yes (as answer to a question)

Prefix[edit]

  1. un-; negation prefix
    不幸 unfortunate; 不安 unpeaceful

Synonyms[edit]

  • (prefix) without, -less

See also[edit]

Compounds[edit]

Proverbs[edit]


Japanese[edit]

Kanji[edit]

(grade 4 “Kyōiku” kanji)

  1. not, non-, un-

Readings[edit]

Compounds[edit]

Prefix[edit]

(hiragana , romaji fu-)

  1. un-, non-, in-

(hiragana , romaji bu-)

  1. un-, non-, in-
  2. bad, poor

Korean[edit]

Hanja[edit]

(bu, bul, bi)
Eumhun:

  • Sound (hangeul): , ,  (revised: bu, bul, bi, McCune-Reischauer: pu, pul, pi, Yale: pwu, pwu, pi)
  • Name (hangeul): 아닐, 아닐,  (revised: anil, anil, keul, McCune-Reischauer: anil, anil, k'ǔl, Yale: anil, anil, khul)
  1. This entry needs a definition. Please add one, then remove {{defn}}.

References[edit]


Vietnamese[edit]

Han character[edit]

(bất, phầu, phủ, phi)

  1. This entry needs a definition. Please add one, then remove {{defn}}.

Readings[edit]

References[edit]

  • Thiều Chửu : Hán Việt Tự Điển Hà Nội 1942
  • Trần Văn Chánh: Từ Điển Hán Việt NXB Trẻ, Ho Chi Minh Ville, 1999
  • Vũ Văn Kính: Đại Tự Điển Chữ Nôm , NXB Văn Nghệ, Ho Chi Minh Ville, 1999