Word of the day 8 – 离婚

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Today’s word of the day is 离婚 (lí hūn), which means ‘divorce’

Yep – our last word of the day was 结婚 (jié hūn) meaning ‘to marry’, and just a week later we’re teaching you ‘divorce’. 50 years ago we’d have waited at least a year for this transition, but in the spirit of the 21st century a week seems just about enough. Regardless, 离婚 (lí hūn) and 结婚 (jié hūn) provide an excellent opportunity to once again illustrate the logical nature of the Chinese language.

You’ll see that the common character between the two words is 婚 (hūn), which means marriage. The 结 (jié) in 结婚 (jié hūn) means to tie or to bind something, so 结婚 (jié hūn) literally means to bind a marriage. Makes sense, right?

So how about 离婚 (lí hūn).

离 lí : to leave / to part from / to be away from

婚 hūn: marriage / wedding

离婚 lí hūn: to divorce

Of course, to part from a marriage is…to divorce!

Example:

Internediate: 他们离婚了 (tā men lí hūn le) : They divorced.

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