I was studying some radicals using an app and one of the radicals listed is defined as river and looks like this:
Yet I know the kanji for river looks like:
Can anyone explain to me what the difference is?
川 is the kanji used normally for "river". 巛 (まがりがわ) is a radical, like 氵(さんずい).
When speaking about radicals, 川 and 巛 are said to be the same radical - radical 47, but only 川 is seen as both a radical and a separate kanji while 巛 is only seen as part of other kanji. For example, 山川 is a word where 川 is a whole kanji, and お巡りさん is a word with the 巛 radical (as part of 巡).