When explaining how to write a kanji verbally (by using radicals) is it more natural to say the radical, then the base kanji, or the other way around? Does it matter?:


(1) 「さんずい」に「さき」でできている漢字の、音読みと訓読みを言いなさい。
(2) 「さき」に「さんずい」でできている漢字の、音読みと訓読みを言いなさい。

(1) 「うかんむり」に「たに」でできている漢字の、音読みと訓読みを言いなさい。
(2) 「たに」に「うかんむり」でできている漢字の、音読みと訓読みを言いなさい。

Does this drill seem like a natural way to learn radicals? Or are these more like trivia questions?

1 Answer 1


In speech people usually say the well-known radical first. 「てへんにしろ (=拍)」「さんずいにさき (=洗)」「うかんむりにたに (=容)」 sound perfect to me. しろにてへん is not wrong but sounds awkward.

述べなさい or 答えなさい is better than 言いなさい here, though.

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