The hot wire to the fan in a fan/light kit will usually be black and the light wire will be blue. The white wire is usually the neutral which is always connected directly to the source neutral, either at the source or through a splice in the switch box. The white wire may also be used to carry current when necessary.
Here 3-wire cable is run from a double-pole circuit breaker and split to supply 120 volts to two sets of receptacles. The neutral wire from the circuit is shared by both. This wiring is commonly used in a 20amp kitchen circuit where two appliance feeds are needed, such as for a refrigerator and a microwave in the same location.
This diagram illustrates wiring a GFCI receptacle and light switch in the same outlet box, a common arrangement in a bathroom with limited space. The hot source is spliced to the LINE terminal on the receptacle and to the bottom terminal on the light switch. The neutral and ground wires are spliced together and run to each device in the circuit.
In this diagram, two receptacle outlets are wired in the same box with a separate 120 volt source feeding each. Three-wire cable runs into the box. The black and red wires are hot and each is connected to one of the receptacles. The white, neutral wire is splice to each outlet so they share the return path. This is appropriate for standard duplex receptacles, but should not be used for GFCI receptacles. GFCI’s must have dedicated neutral connections to work properly.