Chinese Language Blog

20 Most Common Chinese Characters Posted by on Jun 30, 2014 in Culture, Vocabulary

A few months ago, I wrote about the 100 most common Chinese characters. While that post is certainly useful, I decided it might be more beneficial for new Chinese learners to follow along on this list with videos. This way, you can focus more on the pronunciation of these characters and learn them in groups. At the end of this five part video series, we’ll take a closer look at how to use these characters. Being able to confidently use these top 100 Chinese characters will help you out immensely in your quest to speak Chinese. For now, here are #s 1-20 in a short, easy to follow video:

的 – de
possessive particle

一 – yī

是 – shì
to be

不 – bù
no; not

了 – le
past tense marker

在 – zài
in; at

人 – rén
people; person

有 – yǒu

我 – wǒ
I; me

他 – tā
he; him

这 – zhè

中 – zhōng

大 – dà
big; large

来 – lái

上 – shàng
on; above; up

国 – guó

个 – gè
general measure word

到 – dào

说 – shuō

们 – men
plural marker

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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.


  1. typhooonn:

    good summary !

  2. Bill:

    Thanks for your site, did it take you long to learn Chinese characters?

  3. Bill:

    Thanks. Did it take you long to learn Chinese characters

  4. Bill:


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