Monday, September 28, 2009

国 (guó) is a very simple word. It means "country," "kingdom," nation," or "land," and its use is straightforward. For example, you should know by now that 中国 (zhōngguó) is the Chinese word for "China." Literally, it means "central kingdom," or "middle land." Similarly, 英国 (yīngguó) is "England," and 美国 (měiguó) "America." Noticing a pattern? 国 can also be used more abstractly, i.e. 白痴国 (báichīguó), "a nation of idiots." 外国人 (wàiguórén) means "foreigner," or more literally, "person from outside the kingdom."

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