How to Say and Write "Good" in Chinese

Why Does 好 Mean Good?

Chinese Character - Hao

 "Good" is 好 (hǎo) in Chinese. Although that is a common translation of 好, this Chinese character is also used in a variety of ​manners and meanings. 

Radicals

The Mandarin Chinese character 好 (hǎo) consists of two radicals: 女 (nǔ) and 子 (zǐ). 女 means girl, woman, or daughter. 子 means child or son. 

Speculations as to why the combination of these two characters means "woman" include the by now outdated idea that it is good for women to have a child, that the love between a woman and a man is good, or that the manner of girls are or should be good.

 

Pronunciation

好 (hǎo) is spoken in the third tone. This implies starting the syllable at a high pitch, lowering the pitch, then raising it again. 

Multiple Meanings

Translating the English word for "good" to Chinese brings us the character, 好. However, translating 好 into English leads to a variety of different definitions. While 好 can mean "good", it can also mean nice, friendly, done, easy, fine, prefer, very, or something completely different depending on the context and other Chinese characters 好 is paired with.

Mandarin Vocabulary with Hǎo

Here are a few examples of how 好 can take on other definitions: 

你好 (nǐ hǎo) - Hello

好吃 (hǎo chī) - Tasty; delicious

好看 (hǎo kàn) - Pretty; attractive

好聽 (hǎo tīng) - Pleasant to the ear; sounds nice

好久 (hǎo jiǔ) - A while; a long time

好像 (hǎo xiàng) - Very similar; look alike

好笑 (hǎo xiào) - Funny

爱好​ (ài hào) - Hobby

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Su, Qiu Gui. "How to Say and Write "Good" in Chinese." ThoughtCo, Mar. 18, 2017, thoughtco.com/good-hao-chinese-character-profile-2278373. Su, Qiu Gui. (2017, March 18). How to Say and Write "Good" in Chinese. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/good-hao-chinese-character-profile-2278373 Su, Qiu Gui. "How to Say and Write "Good" in Chinese." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/good-hao-chinese-character-profile-2278373 (accessed January 21, 2018).