Today’s word of the day is 苦 (kǔ) which means ‘bitter’. Let’s practice making different words, phrases, and sentences with 苦 (kǔ).
苦恼 (kǔ nǎo) Distressed
The first word is 苦恼 (kǔ nǎo) which means distressed. Let’s look at each character of this word, 苦 means bitter, and 恼 means brain. A way of using it in a sentence is 我的朋友很苦恼因为他找不到一份工作。(Wǒ de péng you hěn kǔ nǎo yīn wèi tā zhǎo bú dào yī fèn gōng zuò.) My friend is distressed because he cannot find a job.
苦涩 (kǔ sè) Astringent
Another word we can create with 苦 (kǔ) is 苦涩 (kǔ sè). This means astringent. A way of using it in a sentence is 咖啡的味道很苦涩，需要加糖才能让它变甜。(Kā fēi yīn de wèi dào hěn kǔ sè, xū yào jiā táng cái néng ràng tā biàn tián.) The taste of caffeine is very astringent, you need to add sugar to make it sweet.
苦心 (kǔ xīn) Painstaking effort
Finally, we can create the word 苦心 (kǔ xīn) which means painstaking effort. The 心 here means heart. So it literally means bitter heart. A way of using it in a sentence is 我花了很多苦心准备这次的演讲，希望能够表现得非常出色。(Wǒ huā le hěn duō kǔ xīn zhǔn bèi zhè cì de yǎn jiǎng, xī wàng néng gòu biǎo xiàn de fēi cháng chū sè.) I put a lot of effort into preparing for this speech and hope to perform very well.