See also:
U+662F, 是

CJK Unified Ideographs

Translingual edit

Stroke order
Stroke order

Han character edit

(Kangxi radical 72, +5, 9 strokes, cangjie input 日一卜人 (AMYO), four-corner 60801, composition 𤴓 or ⿱)

  1. Shuowen Jiezi radical №32

Derived characters edit

References edit

  • Kangxi Dictionary: page 493, character 26
  • Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 13859
  • Dae Jaweon: page 858, character 6
  • Hanyu Da Zidian (first edition): volume 2, page 1497, character 5
  • Unihan data for U+662F

Chinese edit

simp. and trad.
alternative forms

Glyph origin edit

Historical forms of the character
Western Zhou Spring and Autumn Warring States Shuowen Jiezi (compiled in Han) Liushutong (compiled in Ming)
Bronze inscriptions Bronze inscriptions Bronze inscriptions Chu slip and silk script Qin slip script Shizhoupian script Small seal script Transcribed ancient scripts

Originally a phono-semantic compound (形聲形声, OC *djeʔ): semantic + phonetic (OC *kjɯʔ), but the original meaning is unclear. It has been suggested that looks like a spoon, so may have been the original character for (OC *dje, “spoon”). As early as in late bronze inscriptions, the lower part of split off and combined with to give , which carried over to the small seal script, and Shuowen considers this a compound of (sun) + (upright; right) (i.e. as the upright sun).

Etymology edit

“This [an independent pronoun] > this, it [object recapitulation], be right, correct, so > to be, indeed”. The modern copulative sense only emerged by the Eastern Han dynasty (Dobson, 1964; Norman, 1988; Zürcher, 2013), and gradually replaced the archaic (OC *ɢʷi, “to be”) and the classical copulative construction with (OC *laːlʔ).

This was due to the lack of a left-branching copula as archaic 唯 shifted into a contrasting and restricting particle, as well as its frequent use in presentational copulative constructions, often in the form of "A, 是 B 也" ("A, this is B"), which led to it being gradually reinterpreted as the copula instead of 也. Also note the semantic opposition with literary negative copula (OC *pɯl) as in "right" and "wrong", which emerged by the Warring States period from the frequent collocation of the expression "是 X 也, 非 Y 也" (This is X, not Y) (Pulleyblank, 1995) .

To understand this development, compare (OC *tjɯ, “him, it, this > possessive”), (OC *kɯ, “he, his, its > dialectal possessive”). Compare French c’est which in colloquial speech often replaces copula est, as well as Japanese , the topic particle like Old Chinese (OC *tjaːʔ), (OC *laːlʔ, “topicalizer”) and left-branching (OC *ba), but frequently misinterpreted as the copula by learners.

From Proto-Sino-Tibetan *m-daj ~ m-di (that; this). In Chinese, cognate with (OC *djɯɡ, “this (subject contrastive)”), (OC *ɦliɡ, “this (subject contrastive)”), (OC *tjɯ, “this; him; her; it (oblique)”), (OC *djeʔ, “to examine, to consider”). In Tibeto-Burman, cognate with Tibetan དེ (de, that), Jingpho dai, ndai (this), and Burmese ဒီ (di, this).

Pronunciation 1 edit

  • shr5 - vernacular;
  • shr4 - literary.

Reading # 1/1
Initial () (25)
Final () (11)
Tone (調) Rising (X)
Openness (開合) Open
Division () III
Baxter dzyeX
BaxterSagart system 1.1 (2014)
Reading # 1/1
‹ dzyeX ›
English this

Notes for Old Chinese notations in the Baxter–Sagart system:

* Parentheses "()" indicate uncertain presence;
* Square brackets "[]" indicate uncertain identity, e.g. *[t] as coda may in fact be *-t or *-p;
* Angle brackets "<>" indicate infix;
* Hyphen "-" indicates morpheme boundary;

* Period "." indicates syllable boundary.
Zhengzhang system (2003)
Reading # 1/1
No. 11645
MC rime

Definitions edit

  1. (literary) this; this thing
      ―  shì  ―  this day
    1. (literary, archaic) a pronoun that refers to an anteposed object of the verb, usually introduced by the a topicalizer or constrative like in the form of …… 是 + V, adding emphasis to the object of the verb. Compare (zhī), which as a pronoun can also refers to the topic as the object, and in earlier forms was also placed before the verb.
      [Classical Chinese, trad.]
      [Classical Chinese, simp.]
      From: Commentary of Zuo, c. 4th century BCE
      wéi yú mǎ shǒu shì zhān [Pinyin]
      Just look at my horse's head
  2. (copulative) to be
    1. indicating that the subject and object are the same.
      泰晤士河英國第二河流 [MSC, trad.]
      泰晤士河英国第二河流 [MSC, simp.]
      Tàiwùshìhé shì Yīngguó dì'èr cháng de héliú. [Pinyin]
      The River Thames is the second longest river in the UK.
    2. indicating that the subject has the qualities described by a noun or noun phrase.
      老師老师  ―  shì lǎoshī.  ―  I am a teacher.
      中國人中国人  ―  shì zhōngguórén.  ―  I am Chinese.
    3. indicating a place being occupied by the object, where the place forms the subject.
      房子前面禾場房子前面禾场  ―  Fángzǐ qiánmiàn shì hécháng.  ―  The threshing floor is in front of the house.
      到處到处  ―  dàochù dōu shì  ―  to be everywhere
  3. a particle emphasizing the word following it.
    昨天昨天  ―  shì zuótiān mǎi de piào.  ―  It was yesterday when I bought the ticket.
    昨天昨天  ―  Wǒ mǎi piào shì zài zuótiān.  ―  It was yesterday when I bought the ticket.
  4. a particle showing agreement. In this meaning, is stressed. truly; indeed.
    天氣天气  ―  Tiānqì shì lěng.  ―  It is indeed cold.
    裙子漂亮但是 [MSC, trad.]
    裙子漂亮但是 [MSC, simp.]
    Zhè jiàn qúnzi shì hěn piàoliàng, dànshì tài guì le. [Pinyin]
    Although this dress is truly beautiful, it's too expensive.
  5. a particle used in an alternative or a negative question
    喝茶咖啡 [MSC, trad.]
    喝茶咖啡 [MSC, simp.]
    shì hēchá háishì hē kāfēi? [Pinyin]
    Would you like coffee or tea?
  6. (in affirmative answers) yes; right
    張三张三  ―  Nǐ shì Zhāng Sān ma? Shì.  ―  Are you Zhang San? Yes.
    長官长官  ―  Shì, zhǎngguān.  ―  Yes, sir.
    明白  ―  Shì, míngbái le.  ―  Yes, got it.
  7. true; correct
      ―  shì  ―  fault; mistake; wrongdoing
      ―  nǐ shuō de shì  ―  What you said is right
      ―  gè xíng qí shì  ―  to have each going his own way, i.e., doing what he considers right
      ―  gòng shāng guóshì  ―  to discuss national affairs (This is a fossil word from Ancient Chinese where (OC *djeʔ) originally means "what is right (for the country)", i.e., "laws and policies")
  8. a surname
Usage notes edit

When translated as "to be", is used only to link two nouns or nominal expressions.

老師老师  ―  shì lǎoshī  ―  I am a teacher
泰晤士河英國第二河流 [MSC, trad.]
泰晤士河英国第二河流 [MSC, simp.]
Tàiwùshìhé shì Yīngguó dì'èr cháng de héliú. [Pinyin]
The River Thames is the second longest river in the UK.

is not used to link a noun and an adjective. The following sentence would be incorrect:

**  ―  * zhè shì hǎo  ―  *

The correct sentence is

  ―  zhè hěn hǎo  ―  This is (very) good

Here, (hěn) is used as a filler to link a noun and an adjective and is not interpreted as "very".

A way to use with an adjective is to use (de) after the adjective to turn it into a noun.

  ―  nà zhī māo shì hēi de  ―  This cat is black (This cat is a black one)
Synonyms edit
Descendants edit
  • Wutunhua: hai
Compounds edit

Pronunciation 2 edit

  This entry needs pronunciation information. If you are familiar with the IPA then please add some!
Particularly: “Generally 8zeq /zə̀ʔ/ or /zèʔ/
simp. and trad.
alternative forms

Definitions edit

  1. (Northern Wu) Pronominal prfix
    [Northern Wu]  ―  I, me
Compounds edit

References edit

Japanese edit

Kanji edit

(common “Jōyō” kanji)

  1. this
  2. right, correct, just
  3. indicates agreement or affirmation

Readings edit

Etymology 1 edit

Kanji in this term

Grade: S

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

() (ze

  1. right, justice
    ze to hi o kubetsu suru
    to tell apart right and wrong

Etymology 2 edit

Kanji in this term
Grade: S
For pronunciation and definitions of – see the following entry.
[pronoun] this
[pronoun] (deictically) this one (near the speaker)
[pronoun] (anaphorically) this one I am talking about (only the speaker knows)
[pronoun] (archaic) I; me
[pronoun] (archaic) you
[pronoun] (literary, calque of Literary Chinese , , , etc.) Repeats the topic with a correct case marker to avoid any misunderstanding if it is not a subject.
Alternative spellings
此れ, , ,
(This term, , is an alternative spelling of the above term.)

References edit

  1. ^ Akira Matsumura, editor (2006) 大辞林 [Daijirin] (in Japanese), Third edition, Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN

Korean edit

Etymology 1 edit

Hanja edit

(eumhun (i si))

  1. Hanja form? of (this, to be).

Etymology 2 edit

Hanja edit

(eumhun 바를 (bareul si))

  1. Hanja form? of (right).

Old Korean edit

Etymology 1 edit

A semantically adopted phonogram (hun'gaja). means "this" in Chinese, and the native Korean word for "this" is (i).

Phonogram edit


  1. A syllabic phonogram denoting final vowel *-i

Etymology 2 edit

A phonetically adopted phonogram (eum'gaja), from the Middle Chinese reading (MC dzyeX).

Phonogram edit


  1. A syllabic phonogram denoting final syllable *-si

Etymology 3 edit

Particle edit


  1. Nominative case marker
    Synonyms: , 弋只
Descendants edit
  • Middle Korean: (-i, nominative case marker)
    • Korean: (-i, nominative case marker)

Etymology 4 edit

Adjective edit


  1. to be
Descendants edit

Vietnamese edit

Han character edit

: Hán Nôm readings: thị

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