豸 y 犭




You will not even care how terrible these characters 豹貘貂 look only if you know they are labeled with 豸. The same applies to 犭. 

1. 豸zhì, a savage beast, denotes animals when it combines with other characters.

2. 犭, originally 犬quǎn(dog), also denotes animals when it combines with other characters.

Tips:

Most of the words formed by 犭and 豸 are semantic left-phonetic right, such as 狮shī (师shī), 狼láng(良liáng); 貘mò(莫mò). So when you see characters with 豸 and 犭, you know their meanings are related to animals, and then just check the right parts for their pronunciations.

力 or 刀?




力 lì denotes strength, and it combines with other characters to express meanings related to strength, force, energy, movement, etc.

刀 dāo denotes knife, and it combines with other characters to express meanings related to people’s acts with knife.

Tips:

Characters formed with 力 and 刀 can be both phonetic left-semantic right and phonetic top-semantic bottom. What’s more, characters combined with 力 and 刀 can in turn form phrases with 力 and 刀 to express meanings related to 力 or 刀, such as 努力, 动力; 剪刀, 劈刀