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Chinlingo Chinese character: 叶

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In modern Chinese, "叶" (yè) means "leaf". When it is combined with names of different plants, many compound words can be created. For example:


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茶叶 (chá yè): tea leaf

荷叶 (hé yè): lotus leaf

桑叶 (sāng yè): mulberry leaf

枫叶 (fēng yè): maple leaf

Moreover, when it is combined with characters describing the conditions and colors of leaves, many compound words will also be created. For example:


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嫩叶 (nèn yè): tender leaf

绿叶 (lǜ yè): green leaf

黄叶 (huáng yè): yellow leaf

枯叶 (kū yè): dead leaf

Dead leaves fall and settle on their roots. They get rotten naturally, become fertilizers and supply nutrients to the trees. Ancient Chinese people observed the natural phenomenon and created the idiom "落叶归根" (luò yè ɡuī ɡēn). Figuratively, it means "everything goes back to its origin finally", and generally refers to a person residing elsewhere for years finally returns to his ancestral home. E.g.: 一些老华侨盼望叶落归根 (yì xiē lǎo huá qiáo pàn wànɡ yè luò ɡuī ɡēn) (Some old overseas Chinese are looking forward to returning to their hometowns)

枯叶(kū yè) 凋落(luò),仍会落回树根处,通过自然腐化,它们又会化为绿肥给养树木。中国古人通过对这一自然现象的观察,将它概括为"落叶归根(luò yè ɡuī ɡēn)"。这个成语比喻事物终须返回本源。多指客居他乡的人不忘本源,年老时终究要回出生地养老。例句:一些老华侨盼望叶落归根(yì xiē lǎo huá qiáo pàn wànɡ yè luò ɡuī ɡēn)。

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