Component 刀 Knife

刀, a pictographic character of a knife, serves as a semantic component to form characters. Characters formed by the semantic component 刀 express meanings related to the knife, such as 刮, 剃, 删, 削, 剖, 利, 罚, 别, 辨, 割, etc. 刀 also serves as a phonetic component to form characters such as 叨.

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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

The “sharpest” knife 刀 in Chinese

刀 dāo is mostly turned into刂 to express different acts with a knife, or other concepts related to knife. So for knife-related meanings, you will see in most cases characters with刂 but not with 刀. 

Tips: characters with刂 are mainly phonetic left-semantic right, such as 肖xiāo +刂 = 削xiāo, 朵duǒ +刂 = 剁duò.