Strokes The basic elements of Chinese characters are strokes. There are a total of 31 different kinds of strokes used in Chinese writing. Among these are eight basic strokes that are most commonly used.
Common Strokes 横 héng Horizontal 竖 shù Vertical 撇 piě Left-slanted 捺 nà Right-slanted 点 diǎn Dot 提 tí Up-lift 钩 gōu Hook 折 zhé Bend
Directions of Strokes Start the horizontal strokes from the left and move to the right. Start the vertical strokes from the top and move downwards. Left-slanted strokes start from the upper right and towards the lower left. Right-slanted strokes move from top left to bottom right.
Principles of Stroke Order Stroke OrderExamples Top first, then bottom 交 Left first, then right 很 Horizontal first, then verticle 十 Left-slanted first, then righ-slanted 父 Center first, then both sides 小 Outside first, then inside 同 Enter first, and then close the door 国
Radicals Radicals are pictographs which represent objects in the real world. Some radicals can stand alone as independent, one-semantic-unit characters. e.g., 人 (person), 口 (mouth), 雨 (rain) Others may be combined with other components to form a new character for which the radical serves as a clue to its meaning: e.g., 吹 (to blow), 妹 (younger sister)
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