Dependent items

A dependent item are all items that are contained or referenced within another item. For example, a character item will have the sounds and components within it be considered its dependent items.

HanziHero will not introduce an item into your lessons until all of its dependent items have become familiar items.


At HanziHero, we believe in learning each item from the bottom up. So we want to first be familiar with the sounds and components within a character before learning the character itself. Similarly, we want to be familiar with all characters within a word before learning the word itself.

This relation of dependency between the various item types can be represented by a simple diagram, shown below.

  sounds    components
     \          /
      \        /

Sounds and components

As noted in the graph above, sounds and components do not have any dependent items. This is why your first lessons will consist primarily of sounds and components - because they don’t have any dependent items that must be learned first.


All characters have dependent items. Those are the sounds and components it contain.

For example, the character 好 hǎo will have the following dependent items:

  • 女 woman
  • 子 child
  • h-
  • -ao
  • 3


All words have dependent items. These are these characters it contains.

For example, the word 你好 nǐhǎo will have the following dependent items:

  • 你 nǐ
  • 好 hǎo