Learn Chinese Characters


This is the first of five free lessons about Chinese characters' strokes.

Lesson 3:

What Are Strokes?

Every Chinese character is composed by lines called strokes.

A stroke is a mark traced by a single movement of the pen. Writing each stroke (simple or complex), from its beginning to its end, you need not lift your pen from the paper.

It's important also to respect the direction of each stroke. For example, you cannot draw the horizontal stroke (see below) from right to left, but from left to right.

A Chinese character might be composed by only one or even by more than thirty strokes.

In the following table you see the shape of all simple strokes with their name, writing direction and some example characters containing them.

SIMPLE STROKES
Stroke
Dot stroke
Name
(and direction)
DOT
(downwards a bit to the right)
Examples
Dot stroke example 1Dot stroke example 2
Stroke
Left dot stroke
Name
(and direction)
LEFT DOT
(downwards a bit to the left)
Examples
Left dot stroke example 1Left dot stroke example 2
Stroke
Long dot stroke
Name
(and direction)
LONG DOT
(falling from left to rigth)
Examples
Long dot stroke example 1Long dot stroke example 2
Stroke
Horizontal stroke
Name
(and direction)
HORIZONTAL
(left to right)
Examples
Horizontal stroke example 1Horizontal stroke example 2
Stroke
Vertical stroke
Name
(and direction)
VERTICAL
(downwards)
Examples
Vertical stroke example 1Vertical stroke example 2
Stroke
Left-falling stroke
Name
(and direction)
LEFT-FALLING
(falling from right to left)
Examples
Left-falling stroke example 1Left-falling stroke example 2
Stroke
Flat left-falling stroke
Name
(and direction)
FLAT LEFT-FALLING
(falling slightly from right to left)
Examples
Flat left-falling stroke example 1Flat left-falling stroke example 2
Stroke
Vertical left-falling stroke
Name
(and direction)
VERTICAL LEFT-FALLING
(downwards slightly to the left)
Examples
Vertical left-falling stroke example 1Vertical left-falling stroke example 2
Stroke
Right-falling stroke
Name
(and direction)
RIGHT-FALLING
(falling from left to right)
Examples
Right-falling stroke example 1Right-falling stroke example 2
Stroke
Flat right-falling stroke
Name
(and direction)
FLAT RIGHT-FALLING
(falling slightly from left to right)
Examples
Flat right-falling stroke example 1Flat right-falling stroke example 2
Stroke
Rising stroke
Name
(and direction)
RISING
(upwards from left to right)
Examples
Rising stroke example 1Rising stroke example 2
Stroke
Horizontal hook stroke
Name
(and direction)
HORIZONTAL HOOK
(from left to right plus downwards hook)
Examples
Horizontal hook stroke example 1Horizontal hook stroke example 2
Stroke
Vertical hook stroke
Name
(and direction)
VERTICAL HOOK
(downwards plus rising hook to the left)
Examples
Vertical hook stroke example 1Vertical hook stroke example 2
Stroke
Curved hook stroke
Name
(and direction)
CURVED HOOK
(downwards plus rising hook to the left)
Examples
Curved hook stroke example 1Curved hook stroke example 2
Stroke
Diagonal hook stroke
Name
(and direction)
DIAGONAL HOOK
(downwards plus upwards hook)
Examples
Diagonal hook stroke example 1Diagonal hook stroke example 2
Stroke
Lying hook stroke
Name
(and direction)
LYING HOOK
(falling from left to right plus upwards hook)
Examples
Lying hook stroke example 1Lying hook stroke example 2

Click here for lesson 2 on Chinese characters' strokes.

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WearYourChineseName - By Giuseppe Romanazzi
Biaoyu Business Consulting Services LTD
Shanghai, China
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