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31 DEFINITION 1. Heaven,

31 DEFINITION 1. Heaven, sky; heavenly. 2. Day. 3. Weather. PRONUNCIATION tiān SOUND WORD 天 Tienne /tjɛn/ French word for ‘yours,’ feminine gender: ‘la tienne.’ COMPONENTS 一 ONE 15 + 大 BIG 27 MNEMONICS This character depicts a BIG man living under the sky (the top horizontal stroke). Ancient form: . STORY ONE day, the sky opens up and I hear ONE BIG heavenly voice that says, “Your end is near and you’ll soon come meet me in heaven!” I ask, “God, whose life are you talking about exactly?” “Pardon my French, but la tienne!” replies God. EXAMPLES 1. 天 文 (tiān wén) Astronomy. 2. 今 天 (jīn tiān) Today. 3. 天 气 (tiān qì) Weather. WANT A LITTLE MORE? Usage frequency: Top 100. 56 五 十 六

32 DEFINITION 1. To die young, prematurely. 2. Tender, young; graceful, supple. PRONUNCIATION yāo SOUND WORD 夭 Yaourt/jauʁt/ French word for ‘yogourt,’ pronounced as one syllable. COMPONENTS ノ DOG COLLAR 4 left-falling stroke + 大 GREAT DANE27 BIG MNEMONICS • Around 200 BC, this character was written , showing a man bowing his head, lacking energy. • In the story, the left-falling stroke stands for a DOG COLLAR. STORY My GREAT DANE puppy enjoyed eating yaourt so much that when he tried to reach the fridge while I was away, he broke his tender neck with his DOG COLLAR and died young. EXAMPLES 1. 夭 亡 (yāo wáng) To die young. 2. 夭 矫 (yāo jiǎo) Lithe, graceful, supple. WANT A LITTLE MORE? • Not to be confused with the character for 天 HEAVEN 31 . While the top building block for heaven is a horizontal line drawn from left to right, the first stroke here is slanting and drawn from right to left. • Usage frequency: Middle third. 五 十 七 57