Part 3. More Secondary Shapes

/ chinese wubi hanzi / 7 min read /

This is a part of the Introduction to Wubi Input Method series. Previous chapter was about Character Composition and Secondary Shapes.

Let’s continue our journey through a multitude of secondary shapes and follow through with two more regions!

言Y Y

First of all, this key has the simplified version of the root shape . Then it also has and its extended version with underneath. It makes ymkf (in fact, simply ym is enough) instead of 亠+口+冂+口, and also requires that is yiu (i standing for and u for isolation that will be explained later in the series).

In addition, a couple of other radicals that begin with , that is, , and 广 are also here. And the last important shape that also got here because it begins with is the right part of , so it’s convenient to remember that whenever you need this radical, it is wy.

Also, this is the shape key for itself when you need it as a radical, thus becomes dy.

立U U

Secondary shapes of this key include that begins with 立 and which is graphically similar to it (without the bottom part). This also makes it the starting point for the top part of which is up. Somewhat visually similar (‘standing’) radical in both traditional and simplified forms is also here. And the rest of the radicals are connected with the fact that it is the double key. Thus, all the shapes that have two points are gathered here, including , , and . If you ever need two points used as a radical, like in or , please, come here as well.

水I I

This is the key you come for all radicals similar to 水 and also everything that has three points, or in fact, a vertical stroke between two points as well, thus not only , but also and .

火O O

Secondary shapes of this key include a radical form of which coincidentally also has four points . In addition, this key has two other ‘four-pointy’ shapes, the top part of and the bottom part of . being somewhat visually similar to also resides here.

Note that other regions (save for vertical stroke) do not have a similar ‘quadrupled’ key, therefore if you need the rare character , don’t go and try to find it on the key that is three keys away from , but rather think of it as a double .

之P P

The secondary shapes of this key include which bears certain resemblance to the root shape , and by extension, . Besides, it is also home to the shape whose visual similarity does not strike you immediately, the radical without the last point. This allows to conveniently accomodate two radicals, has the code py, and with the double point, pu. Lastly, two ‘covers’, and , also live here.

Now let’s turn to our next region, the kingdom of horizontal strokes.

工A A </g>

This key has a variety of shapes, and it’s not that they are all so similar in appearance to the root shape. However, you can clearly divide them into three groups. The first is the radical . Think how you pushed the middle in to the right with all your strength yesterday, and you’ll remember the results of your hard work.

Second group of radicals is and all that looks more or less like it, including . Be careful to note that similarly looking is located quite far away, on the G key. And now, a surprise! Even got reconceptualised in a quirky way, as 七+小, so the code is ai. And if you want its version from , go for an (although you cannot get this radical as a separate character). It’s also a bit hard to spot a seven in , however, its code is ta.

The last group contains more or less grass-like shapes , 廿, and .

木S S </g>

This key is mostly useful for its root shape, however, it also includes and 西 (as well as its radical form ).

大D D </g>

You probably had no problems memorising the root shape , because coincidentally, its pinyin starts with the same letter. Secondary shapes include visually similar (note that if you need its radical form , you should rather think in terms of what it looks like, and go for qt). And then there is everything that is somewhat -like, including even . Note also that it includes the top part of so that the correct code is dj, not 一+白.

Also, this key is the tripled shape key for , thus, it houses and all the shapes that have three horisontal lines, including the top part of (By the way, if you prefer using it rather than its simplified version, the code is deu), , and the bottom part of . The last two radicals, and seem a bit unrelated, maybe got here because its top part looks a bit like , and due to some similarity with . Remember not to parse separately as 十+口, for example, is de.

F F </g>

This key is a double horizontal stroke key, therefore, it has the radical .

In addition it has , , , that are visually similar to the root shape, and the combination of the latter with which occurs in (af), and somewhat obscurely related and . Unluckily, when used as a characters, they also share the same code fghy. You probably want to know why, and this is probably a good moment to talk about another very important topic which I’ll do in a moment.

一G G

But first let’s deal with our last secondary shape for today. Once again, it is mostly used for its root character as the radical, as well as its stroke, that is also a shortcut character of the key, meaning you can input it with a single g (shortcuts will be explained later in the series).

Other than that, it is home to radicals , , and .

We have learnt a bunch of secondary shapes already, and by now you must be wondering how to input them when you need them as separate characters. Due to many secondary shapes being associated with a single key, there is no easy solution, and the rule is a bit quirky. Let me tell you the details.

Inputting Secondary Shapes as Characters

Remember the stroke keys G, H, T丿, Y, and N? You’ll need them again.

When you want a character that is a secondary Wubi shape, the code is formed as follows:

  1. The first letter is the key the secondary shape is found on.
  2. The second and third letters are stroke keys for the first and second strokes you use when you write it.
  3. The fourth letter is the stroke key for the last stroke you use when you write it (same as general Wubi rule).
  4. If there are fewer than two strokes, use L as filler for the rest of the code.

For example, if you need 广, you type 言+丶+一+丿 or yygt. When you need 西, you type 木+一+丨+一, or sghg.

Now you can understand that it’s because and are both secondary shapes found on the same key, and they have the same first two and the last strokes , , and , that they share the same code fghy!

Also, this rule explains why the code for is nnll.

As always, don’t forget to practice if you want to remember well the shapes that we learned so far! In the next chapter we’ll explore the secondary shapes from the next region.

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