Character and component differences

Some characters only contain a single component. However, the name of the component may be different than the meaning of the character.

For example, the component 先 caveman has a different name than it’s character meaning 先 xiān , which is “before”.

This is done because the meaning “before” which is associated with the character is not very suitable for mnemonics. In our experience, the best mnemonic names are not abstract concepts, or even verbs, but distinct nouns. That is because nouns and objects are easier to picture in the head, and thus easier to remember.