You’ve come to the right place to learn Chinese. At Concept Chinese:

1. We use English to illuminate how the Chinese language works. Through simple English, we explain Chinese.

2. We use frequency dictionaries to introduce everyday vocabulary first based on how frequently the term or structure in question comes up in a typical day.

3. We aim to take a simple and direct path to explaining the Chinese language and sharing an optimal order to learn it.

The 100 Most Common Chinese Characters

Have you ever wondered what the most common Chinese characters are?

In a language of approximately 50,000 individual characters, mastering the most commonly used Chinese characters—and knowing their order of frequency—will benefit you on your path to language greatness. Whether you’re a new learner ready to begin reading and writing Chinese or a seasoned student brushing up on the basics, learners of all levels benefit from reviewing the most essential Chinese characters. The following list of 100 most common Chinese characters is based on data from classical and modern Chinese writings collected by linguist Jun Da.

The 100 Most Common Chinese characters:

10 Reasons to Study Mandarin in Guilin

Near and far Guilin is connected with buses, 面包车, domestic and international flights, conventional & bullet trains (it’s now 2.5 hours to Guangzhou from Guilin by bullet train).

Guilin is large enough that it offers many of the options you’d expect of a modern city yet Guilin’s small enough that you can traverse the city in about a 30 minute bike ride or 12 minute taxi cab ride (which would cost roughly 15rmb, about $2.50 USD).

Guilin has the feel of a hybrid between country and urban. Downtown is bustling with excitement while riding a bicycle 20 minutes in any direction will take you to tranquil countryside.

No.CharacterpīnyīnEng­lish
1de(possessive particle), of / really and truly / aim, clear
2yī / yì /yíone / single / a(n)
3shìis, are, am, yes to be
4(negative prefix) no, not
5le/liǎo(modal particle intensifying preceding clause), (past tense marker) / to know, to understand, to know
6rénman, person, people
7I, me, myself
8zài(located) at, in, exist
9yǒuto have, there is, there are, to exist, to be
10he, him
11zhèthis/ these
12wéi / wèi act as, take…to be, to be, to do, to serve as, to become / because of, for, to
13zhīhim, her, it
14big, huge, large, major, great, wide, deep, oldest, eldest / doctor
15láito come
16to use, take, according to, because of, in order to
17(a measure word), individual
18zhōngwithin, among, in, middle, center, while (doing something), during
19shàngabove, on, over, top, (go) up, last, previous
20men(plural marker for pronouns and a few animate nouns)

Make it your own

“Travel writing should be exciting to read. It should make the reader feel like they are next to you on the powdery beach with a warm breeze tickling their shoulders. They should be able to taste the curry, rich with coconut milk, lime, and lemongrass. They should be able to hear the chaos of the city traffic and smell the sewage wafting from the grimy streets,” says Katie Diederichs of Two Wandering Soles, which she runs with her husband, Ben Zweber.

In other words, details matter, and so does your unique perspective.

“Figure out what’s important to you and focus on that; write about your experience, and what’s unique about it. We live in a world where so much information is at our fingertips, but the way you experienced a trip—your emotions, your reactions, the crazy things that went wrong, the people you met and chatted with—is unique. That’s what makes interesting writing,” says Kendle.

Know the general rules of travel writing

Every type of writing has its own conventions—things that are expected and generally agreed upon as best practices within the space. For travel blogs, that often means the writing should:

  • Be written in first-person
  • Tell the story in the past tense
  • Be conversational in tone (dialogue can be useful here)
  • Contain sensory details
  • Give the reader value in some way, whether that’s providing useful tips for navigating or insight into a culture
  • Make it relatable to the audience

Since you’ll also be writing online, readability is key. For Diederichs, that means doing things like including a table of contents so the reader can jump to what they’re looking for, using short paragraphs, bolding key sentences, and segmenting the article with subheads. She adds, “Also, keep in mind that the majority of your audience is likely coming from mobile, so make sure that the text is an appropriate size and it is easy to read while scrolling.”

You don’t have to stick to the established rules and conventions, but it’s helpful to know what’s common—that way you’ll be able to break those rules with intention and purpose, rather than accidentally.