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What Else Can the Chinese Word for “Flower” Mean? Take This Quiz And Find Out!

Jan. 4, 2019

HSK 3 quiz

Some students often ask what in the world “花 (huā)” really means! “花 (huā)” is one of those words used in all sorts of different contexts with many different meanings. Of course, there’s the basic meaning of “一束花 (yí shù huā) a bouquet of flowers.” Then there’s the meaning to “to spend.” I think of this as how flowers take time to open and bloom, so you can say “花时间 (huā shíjiān)” to spend time, or “花钱 (huā qián)” to spend money.

Key Learning Point (Preview)

花 (Huā) n./v. flower/to spend (money)


Lily xǐhuan gèzhǒnggèyàng de huā.
1. Lily喜欢各种各样的花。
Lily likes all kinds of flowers.

Jiějie shì yíge hěn ài huāqián de rén.
2. 姐姐是一个很爱花钱的人。
My sister really likes spending money.

Tiān na, wǒ yìtiān jiù huā wán le zhège yuè de gōngzī.
3. 天哪,我一天就花完了这个月的工资。
My God, I spent my entire month’s salary in one day.


Boy: Nǐ xǐhuan shénme huā?
Boy: 你喜欢什么花?
Boy: Which flowers do you like?

Girl: Wǒ xǐhuan liǎng zhǒng huā.
Girl: 我喜欢两种花.
Girl: I like two kinds of flowers.

Boy: Nǎ liǎng zhǒng? Wǒ sòng gěi nǐ!
Boy: 哪两种? 我送给你!
Boy: I’ll get them both for you!

Girl: Yǒu qián huā, suíbiàn huā!
Girl: 有钱花,随便花!
Girl: I can spend money as I wish!

From the above conversation, you can see that the Chinese word “花 (huā)” has a few drastically different meanings. When used as a noun, it means flower. When used as a verb, it means to spend (time or money).

Key Learning Points:

开花 (Kāi huā) v. to bloom

花费 (Huāfèi) v. to spend; to expend; to cost

(The Usage of “花 (Huā)” And “费 (Fèi)” in Chinese)

花钱 (Huāqián) v. to spend money; to lay out; to go to the expense of

(Learn the Correct Structure of Chinese Phrase – 花冤枉钱 (Huā yuānwang qián))

花心 (Huāxīn) adj. fickle in love

一束花 (Yí shù huā) a bouquet of flowers

花时间 (Huā shíjiān) spend time


Chūntiān dàole, táoshù yě kāi huā la!
1. 春天到了,桃树也开花啦!
Spring is coming, and the peach tree is blooming!

Wǒ huāfèi le hěnduō shíjiān hé jīnglì xuéxí zhōngwén.
2. 我花费了很多时间和精力学习中文。
I spent a lot of time and energy to learn Chinese.

Tā shěbùdé huāqián mǎi yīfu.
3. 他舍不得花钱买衣服。
He hated to pay for clothes.

Tā de nánpéngyǒu hěnhuāxīn.
4. 她的男朋友很花心。
Her boyfriend is a playboy.

As you can see there are many different meanings to this simple character “花 (huā),” so pay attention to the context! Check what the character “花 (huā)” is paired within the sentence to know whether it means to spend or just represents a flower.

HSK 3 quiz

1. Which one of the following is not a meaning of “花 (huā)? ”

A. flower

B. spend

C. salary

2. According to the corresponding English sentence, please choose the best option to fill in the blank.

Wǒ jīntiān ___le liǎng bǎi kuài qián.
我今天 ___ 了200块钱。
I have spent 200 yuan today.

A. 花 (Huā)

B. 丢 (Diū)

C. 挣 (Zhèng)

See Answers Analysis

To Learn Further About the Chinese Word “花 (huā)”:
Not All “花 (Huā) Flowers” in Chinese Are Pleasant!
“校花 (Xiàohuā)”-The Most Beautiful Girl in a School
Kids’ Chinese Nursery Rhyme: I Don’t Pick the Beautiful Flowers.

Chinese Popular Words (Fun Stuff) 

HSK Test

General Chinese (Beginner Level) 

General Chinese (Intermediate Level) 

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Hello there, just discovered on Yahoo, and found that it’s really awesome. I will appreciate if you keep writing about this subject in future. Lots of people will benefit from your writing. Cheers! wish you all the best in 2014!

Very valid, pithy, sucincct, and on point. WD.

Hi Buddy,

Thank you~

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