Learn Chinese Character Stroke Order

Posted by Julia Song on 21/02/2016 8:17 PM 1811

There are six basic strokes of Chinese characters, horizontal stroke, vertical stroke, left-falling stroke, right-falling stroke, dot and rising stroke. Other types of strokes are derived from the strokes mentioned above, and thus known as the derived strokes.

One should be aware that in writing Chinese characters each stroke must go in a certain direction. It is important to understand this point and get oneself familiar with strokes. There are about 20-30 types of strokes that Chinese characters are composed of. The following is but a brief list:

chinese character stroke

The great majority of Chinese characters are formed by more than two strokes. The stroke can only be written in certain directions. For example, the horizontal stroke should only go from left to right. the vertical stroke can only be written from top to bottom, never from bottom to top.

The following is a basic principle of the stroke order for writing Chinese characters.

Principle Examples and the order of Strokes
A horizontal stroke should be written before a vertical one. 十
A left falling should be written before a right falling. 人
An upper stroke should be written before a lower one. 三
A left component should be given before a right one. 江
Outer strokes should be written before inner ones. 用
Inside strokes should be completed before an enclosing stroke of a frame. 四
A middle stroke should be written before stroke on both sides. 小


What has been stated above is only a basic principle. Sometimes two or more rules may be applied to the writing of a single character. For example:
五

The horizontal stroke is written before the vertical stroke and the upper stroke completed before the lower one.

午

The left stroke is written before the right one, and the horizontal is written before the vertical.
个

The left-falling stroke is written before the right-falling one, and the upper stroke is written before the lower one.
业

The middle stroke is written before the ones on both sides, and the upper stroke is written before the lower one.

The principle of the stroke order is a guiding rule for writing Chinese characters. The order helps learners write them fast and beautifully.

About The Author

Julia Song

Julia’s cheerful attitude and close attention to her students’ progress make her an excellent Mandarin teacher for students of all levels. Holding a bachelor’s degree in language instruction and several years’ teaching experience, Julia excels at linguistic pedagogy and one-on-one instruction. Learn Chinese online with Julia Song >>

backTop-en