Languages › Mandarin What Are the Various Meanings of the Chinese Character 日 (rì) The Chinese Character for Sun, Day, Date and More Share Flipboard Email Print spreephoto.de / Getty Images Mandarin Understanding Chinese Characters Mandarin History and Culture Pronunciation Vocabulary By Qiu Gui Su Chinese Language Expert Qiu Gui Su is a native Mandarin speaker who has taught Mandarin Chinese for over 20 years. our editorial process Qiu Gui Su Updated February 04, 2019 The Chinese character 日 (rì) can be defined as day, sun, date, or day of the month. Besides being an independent character, it is also a radical. This means that 日 (rì) is a component of other characters that often have to do with the sun or with the day. Character Evolution The character 日 is a pictograph depicting the sun. Its earliest form was a circle with a dot in the center, and four rays extending from the circle. The central dot has become a horizontal stroke in the modern form of this character, which makes it similar to the character 目 (mù), which means eye. Sun Radical Here are some characters that incorporate the radical 日. Many Chinese words that include the sun radical are associated with daytime or brightness, but that is not always the case. 早 – zǎo – early; morning 旱 – hàn – drought 旴 – xū – rising sun 明 – míng – bright; clear 星 – xīng – star 春 – chūn – spring (season) 晚 – wǎn – evening; late; night 晝 – zhòu – daytime 晶 – jīng – crystal 曩 – nǎng – in former times Mandarin Vocabulary With Rì The Chinese word for sun can also be incorporated into other vocabulary words and phrases. See this chart for a few examples: Traditional Characters Simplified Characters Pinyin English 暗無天日 暗無天日 àn wú tiān rì complete darkness 不日 不日 bù rì within the next few days 出生日期 出生日期 chū shēng rì qī date of birth 光天化日 光天化日 guāng tiān huà rì in broad daylight 節日 節日 jié rì holiday 星期日 星期日 xīng qī rì Sunday 日出 日出 rì chū sunrise 日本 日本 Rì běn Japan 日記 日記 rì jì diary 生日 生日 shēng rì birthday Why Is the Chinese Character for Horse so Important? Do You Know the Chinese Character for "Left"? What Does the Chinese Character 早 Mean? How to Say Good Morning and Good Evening in Chinese What Does "He" in Chinese Really Mean? How Do You Say and Write "You" in Chinese? Choosing Chinese Baby Names for Boys Why Are Fish So Important in Chinese Language? Tips on How to Read Chinese What Does the Chinese Character 家 Mean? "Rice"; "Food"; "Meal" in Chinese How Are Strokes Used in Chinese Writing? How Many Chinese Characters Do You Really Need to Know? Learning the Building Blocks of Chinese Characters How Do You Say and Write "I" in Chinese? Is There a Specific Stroke Order for Writing Chinese Characters?