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Character Lesson 5 – 5 Fundamental Strokes & 26 Derivative Strokes

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5 Fundamental Strokes and 26 Derivative Strokes

We’ve already learn 11 basic Chinese strokes in the previous lessons. Today we’ll learn two new concepts: Fundamental Strokes and Derivative Strokes, which are made from simpler strokes putting together. In this video lesson we’ll learn all the strokes group by group, and understand how all Chinese strokes are made. We’ll practice writing these strokes and also see some example characters to help understand how strokes are put together to make characters.



  • Chinese Fundamental Strokes
  • Chinese Derivative Strokes


  1. What are the 5 Fundamental Strokes in this lesson?
  2. What are the 26 Derivative Strokes in this lesson?


5 Chinese Fundamental Strokes

The 5 Fundamental Strokes are 横, 竖, 撇, 点, 折. Horizontal, Vertical, Downward Left, Dot, and Bend.

We can also use the 5 Fundamental Strokes to help put the 26 Derivative Strokes into groups.


26 Chinese Derivative Strokes

The 26 Derivative Strokes can be put into 4 different groups, generally depending on which Fundamental Stroke they start with or end with.


Group 1: Horizontal 横 Héng

横折(héngzhé), 横折提(héngzhétí), 横折折(héngzhézhé), 横折折折(héngzhézhézhé), 横撇(héngpiě), 横折折折撇(héngzhézhézhépiě), 横折弯(héngzhéwān).

Example Characters: 口(kǒu), 计(jì), 凹(āo), 凸(tū), 水(shuǐ), 及(jí), 朵(duǒ).


Group 2: Vertical 竖 Shù

竖折(shùzhé), 竖弯(shùwān), 竖提(shùtí), 竖折折(shùzhézhé), 竖折折撇(shùzhézhépiě).

Example Characters: 山(shān), 四(sì), 长(cháng), 鼎(dǐng), 专(zhuān).


Group 3: Downward Left 撇 Piě

撇折(piězhé), 撇点(piědiǎn)

Example Characters: 么(me), 女(nǚ).


Group 4: Hook 钩 Gōu


Category (1): Start with 横, Horizontal:

横钩(hénggōu), 横折钩(héngzhégōu), 横折斜勾(héngzhéxiégōu), 横折弯钩(héngzhéwāngōu), and 横折撇弯钩(héngzhépiěwāngōu), 横折折折钩(héngzhézhézhégōu)

Example Characters: 买(mǎi), 刀(dāo), 飞(fēi), 几(jǐ), 那(nà), 奶(nǎi).


Category (2): Start with 竖, Vertical:

竖勾(shùgōu), 竖弯钩(shùwāngōu), 竖折折勾(shùzhézhégōu)

Example Characters: 你(nǐ), 儿(ér), 马(mǎ).


Category (3): Start with Other Strokes:

弯钩(wāngōu), 斜勾(xiégóu), and 卧勾(wògōu)

Example Characters: 家(jiā), 我(wǒ), 心(xīn)

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