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Stroke order

Glyph origin[edit]

Phono-semantic compound (形聲): semantic  ‎(mouth) + phonetic  ‎(OC *qaːl).

Han character[edit]

(radical 30 +8, 11 strokes, cangjie input 口弓中口 (RNLR), four-corner 61020, composition)


  • KangXi: page 195, character 4
  • Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 3808
  • Dae Jaweon: page 416, character 5
  • Hanyu Da Zidian: volume 1, page 634, character 18
  • Unihan data for U+554A


simp. and trad.

Pronunciation 1[edit]


  1. Used by itself to express surprise. ah, oh, ha
    /   ―  Ā! Wǒ yòu yíng le!  ―  Ha! I've won again!

Pronunciation 2[edit]


  1. Used to indicate doubt or questioning. what?, huh?, eh
    什麼 / 什么  ―  Á? Nǐ shuō shénme?  ―  Huh, what did you say?

Pronunciation 3[edit]


  1. Used to indicate puzzled surprise. what? oh? huh?
    事兒 / 事儿  ―  Ǎ! Zhēn yǒu zhè shìr?  ―  What? Is that really so?

Pronunciation 4[edit]


  1. Used to indicate agreement/approval. ah
      ―  À, hǎo ba.  ―  Well, OK.

Pronunciation 5[edit]


  1. Sentence-final particle expressing surprise.
    /   ―  Nǐ bù lái a?  ―  So you're not coming?
  2. Sentence-final particle expressing exclamation, excitement or enthusiasm.
    天兒 / 天儿  ―  Duō hǎo de tiānr a!  ―  What a fine day!
    謝謝 / 谢谢  ―  xièxiè a  ―  Thanks.
  3. Sentence-final particle softening the request.
    不行 [MSC, trad.]
    不行 [MSC, simp.]
    Lǎo Wáng a, zhè kě bùxíng a! [Pinyin]
    Wang, this won't do!
  4. Used in enumerations, for confirmation (often untranslated).
    [MSC, trad.]
    [MSC, simp.]
    Qián a, shū a, biǎo a, wǒ dōu diū le. [Pinyin]
    Money, books, watch, I lost everything.
  5. on and on, continuously

Usage notes[edit]

In speech, this toneless particle is found in complementary distribution with several other particles, governed by the nature of the preceding syllable. However, this distinction is not strictly reflected in writing, and tends to an all-encompassing particle. Thus it may carry the pronunciation of any of its variants below in actual speech:

  • -ng, ci, zi, si, chi, zhi, shi + [a] → [a]
  • -a, -o, -e, -i, -ü + [a] → [ya]
  • -u, -ao + [a] → [wa]
  • -n + [a] → [na]




(uncommon “Hyōgai” kanji)

  1. Exclamatory particle




‎(a) (hangeul , revised a, McCune-Reischauer a)

  1. love


Han character[edit]

(à, a, )

  1. This term needs a translation to English. Please help out and add a translation, then remove the text {{rfdef}}.