Introduction to LINKWORDS

In any language, learning certain common root words gives you insight into the meaning of many other words. We could compare this to the English word ‘heart’. If you know this word, it will make it much easier to learn and remember words like bighearted, brokenhearted, chickenhearted, coldhearted, dishearten, downhearted, halfhearted, hardhearted, heartache, heartbreak, heartburn, lighthearted, wholehearted.

This seems to be the case even more in Chinese. For this reason we are starting a regular blog feature, called LINKWORDS. It will highlight a common one-syllable word that appears as part of many others. Whether you use these lists as a study tool or simply collect them and read through them occasionally, they can greatly enhance your vocabulary and your understanding of the language.

Each new linkword in the series will follow the same pattern as below. First the character will be introduced and defined. After that you will be given a number of common words that use the base word. The tones are shown as numbers, not tone marks.

Base word:  xīn / 心

Basic meaning: heart ❤️


中心 zhong1xin     1 centre; heart; core

心里 xin1li5     in the heart; at heart; in (the) mind

关心 guan1xin     be concerned about; show solicitude for; care for; be interested in

心情 xin1qing2     frame (or state) of mind; mood

担心 dan1xin     worry; feel anxious

心理 xin1li3     mentality; psychology

放心fang4xin1     1 set one’s mind at rest; be at ease; rest assured; feel relieved

2 have confidence in sb.; trust sb.

决心 jue2xin     determination; resolution

小心 xiao3xin     take care; be careful; be cautious

信心 xin4xin1     confidence; faith

内心 nei4xin1     1 heart; innermost being

心中 xin1zhong1     in the heart; in the mind

心脏 xin1zang4     1 the heart     2 thecentral or most vital part of anything

伤心 shang1xin1     sad;grieved;broken-hearted

开心 kai1xin1     1 happy; joyous; elated

2 amuse oneself at sb.’s expense; make fun of sb.

热心 re4xin1     enthusiastic; ardent; earnest; warmhearted

恶心 e4xin1     1 bad habit     2 vicious habit     3 vice

恶心 e3xin5     1 feel like vomiting; feel nauseated; feel sick     2 be nauseating;     disgust     3 dialect rotten; lousy

心疼 xin1teng2     1 love dearly     2 feel sorry; be distressed

当心 dang1xin1     take care; be careful; look out

心血 xin1xue4     painstaking care (or effort)

专心 zhuan1xin1     concentrate one’s attention; be absorbed

甘心 gan1xin1     1 do sth. willingly; be ready and willing     2 be reconciled to; resign oneself to; be content with

人心 ren2xin1     1 popular feeling; public feeling; the will of the people     2 human feelings; human reason

衷心 zhong1xin1     heartfelt; wholehearted; cordial

良心 liang2xin1     conscience

用心 yong4xin1     diligently; attentively; with concentrated attention

安心 an1xin1     1 feel at ease; be relieved; set one’s mind at rest

2 keep one’s mind on sth.

灰心 hui1xin1     lose heart; be discouraged

细心 xi4xin1     careful; attentive

一心 yi1xin1     1 wholeheartedly; heart and soul     2 of one mind

心事 xin1shi4     sth. weighing on one’s mind; a load on one’s mind; worry

心愿 xin1yuan4     cherished desire; aspiration; wish; dream

心爱 xin1ai4     loved; treasured; dear to one’s heart

真心 zhen1xin1     wholehearted; heartfelt; sincere

重心 zhong4xin1     1 physics centre of gravity     2 heart; core; focus

心想 xin1xiang3     think to oneself; think

留心 liu2xin1     be careful; take care

身心 shen1-xin1     body and mind

心底 xin1di3     the bottom of one’s heart

心跳 xin1tiao4     palpitation

好心 hao3xin1     good intention

有心 you3xin1     1 have a mind to; set one’s mind on     2 intentionally; purposely

无心 wu2xin1     1 not be in the mood for     2 not intentionally; unwittingly; inadvertently

痛心 tong4xin1     pained; distressed; grieved

心力 xin1li4     mental and physical efforts

心动 xin1dong4     heartbeat

心酸 xin1suan1     be grieved; feel sad

动心 dong4xin1     one’s mind is perturbed; one’s desire, enthusiasm or interest is aroused

心地 xin1di4     a person’s mind, character, moral nature, etc.

花心 hua1xin1     1 center of a flower     2 be fickle in love; be unfaithful

贪心 tan1xin1     1 greed; avarice; rapacity     2 greedy; avaricious; insatiable; voracious

多心 duo1xin1     oversensitive; paranoid

黑心 hei1xin1     black heart; evil mind

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