How to use character “ 着“ in Chinese

Character “ 着“ is a frequently used character that has no equavelant counterpart in English. There are also two ways to pronounce the mysterious character, I’ll show you how soon.

However, as scary as it sounds, it’s really not that difficult in terms of usage. Once you grasp it, and can use it freely, it’ll help you to “craft” your Chinese to be more “native”.

Before anything else, let’s go through your new vocabulary drill first. 🙂 :

pèng zhuàng zhuānxīn
[hanzi][/hanzi] (bump) [hanzi][/hanzi] (hit) [hanzi]专心 [/hanzi](concentrate)
jìng jìng dì yǔ shēng chē zi
[hanzi]静静地[/hanzi](silently) [hanzi]雨声 [/hanzi](sound of rain) [hanzi]车子[/hanzi] (car)
qiáng bǐ jì běn zhǎo
[hanzi][/hanzi] (wall) [hanzi]笔记本[/hanzi](note book) [hanzi][/hanzi] (search)
shí jiān zhōng yú
[hanzi]时间[/hanzi] (time) [hanzi]终于[/hanzi](finally) [hanzi][/hanzi] (hot)
diàn shì zǒng suàn shuì
[hanzi]电视[/hanzi] (TV) [hanzi]总算 [/hanzi](finally) [hanzi][/hanzi] (sleep)
yī huì r
[hanzi]一会儿[/hanzi] (a little while)


When you finish, move on please…

The first pronounciation:


It’s placed right after a one character verb. To show the action is on-going right now. Something like present tense in English.

For example:

看着 kàn zhe – watching

听着 tīng zhe – listening

Or it’s placed right after a one character verb. To indicate the completion of the motion. Or to balance the whole sentence.

For example:

碰着 pèng zhe – bumped

撞着 zhuàng zhe – hit

Let’s put the words in sentence to make them more alive to you:

tā zhuānxīn de kàn zhe nà zhāng huà.


She is looking at the picture attentively.


tā jìng jìng de tīng zhe yǔ shēng.


He is listening to the rain silently.


nǐ pèng zhe wǒ le.


You bumped me.


chēzi zhuàng zhe qiáng le.


The car hit the wall.


The second pronounciation is:


It’s placed right after a verb to emphasize the status after the completion of verb. It put an emphasis on the status change caused by the full completion of the verb.

Don’t worry, I know you’re most likely puzzled now. Let me explain.

If you lost a wallet full of Ids and money, and you’re looking for it. The result of finding it or not means big difference to you, doesn’t it? Your mood for the whole day would be totally different you find it or not, isn’t it so? In English, “looking for it” means you haven’t found it. “Found it” means it’s been found. The two states are significantly different to you.

However, in Chinese, you have to use the same one character “找 zhǎo” for actions of “looking for” or “found it”. Therefore to tell “it’s found” you need to use the magic character “着” and to form the word “找着 zhǎo zháo” to represent the meaning of “found”.

The same usage goes to “睡着 shuì zháo”. “睡 shuì” means sleep (not explicitly showing you’re trying to sleep or has slept soundly). “睡着 shuì zháo” means “soundly asleep” in comparison to being awake but trying to sleep.


wǒ de bǐjìběn bùjiàn le, wǒ zhǎo le hěn cháng shíjiān, zhōngyú zhǎozháo le.


My notebook was lost. I’ve been looking for it for a long time, and finally I found it.


zuówǎn hěn rè wǒ shuì bùzháo. kàn le yīhuìr diànshì hòu wǒ cái zǒngsuàn shuìzháo le.


I couldn’t sleep last night. Then I watched TV for a while and finally felt into sleep.

Are you clear now? If yes, it is time for you to grab some Chinese content to do a quick read, just to see if you can understand better with the sentence that has 着 in it. Feel free to leave your questions in the comment.

Welcome to have my face to face lesson on  !  🙂


How to use character “ 着“ in Chinese”的一个响应


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