Learning the Chinese language we have to distinguish meanings between the Chinese radicals and the Chinese characters.

For instance, the Chinese radical  厶  sī  ‘private’ is normally used as the ‘construction component’ for compound Chinese characters. It can not be interchanged with the Chinese character  私  sī  ‘private’.


More information on that can be found in: http://www.lulu.com/content/e-book/the-chinese-character-decomposition-guidance/18847104 and http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/polina985