21 May, 2015

马 – 乌 – 鸟

For beginners, the characters and look similar. However, in dictionaries they can be found under different radicals. In fact, and are radicals themselves. 

马 – 乌 – 鸟 often confused characters

马 and 鸟 Radicals 

is simplified from (meaning “horse”). It can appear on the right-hand or left-hand side of a character, as well as at the bottom. See the following examples: 
– lǘ – donkey 
– ma – a particle used to make a general question 
– mà – to scold 

(niǎo) is simplified from . It means “bird”. The simplified version is based on the cursive script form. As a radical, often appears in the names of birds’ species: 
– jī – chicken 
– yā – duck 
– é – goose 

Other Examples of Usage 

这匹马 – zhè pǐ mǎ – this horse 
骑马 – qí mǎ – to ride a horse 
鸵鸟 – tuó niǎo - ostrich 
布谷鸟 – bù gǔ niǎo – cuckoo 
鸟笼 – niǎo lóng – birdcage 
is not so frequently used. It is a part of the following words: 
乌鸟 – wū niǎo – crow (black bird) 
乌龟 – wū guī - turtle

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