Character Lesson 1 – Basic Strokes Group 1

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Basic Chinese Strokes

Learn Chinese Stroke Names and Write Chinese Strokes

Thanks for joining ChineseFor.Us Hands-on Writing Course. Starting from this lesson we will start to learn the Chinese Stroke names and how to write Chinese strokes. There are 11 basic Chinese strokes and we’ll discuss and practice them in 4 lessons.



  • Basic Chinese strokes
  • Chinese stroke names


  1. How many basic Chinese strokes are there?
  2. What are the first 3 basic Chinese stroke names?


Basic Chinese strokes

In our lessons, we will discuss 11 basic Chinese strokes.


3 Chinese stroke names

There are 3 basic Chinese strokes discussed in this lesson. And the Chinese stroke names are Dot 点 (diǎn), Horizontal 横 (héng) , and Vertical 竖 (shù).


Example Characters with Horizontal

十, 子, 三

Example Characters with Vertical

土, 工, 耳

Example Characters with Dot

门, 小, 寸


How to write Chinese strokes?

When we write Chinese strokes, for each single stroke, we will write just one time, no back and forth. And also, our pen point will stay on the paper the whole time.


Collapse Comments
learn3Premium Student May 31, 2023 at 11:27 pm

I am a bit confused. In the written example of xia (down). The top row of written examples has the third stroke going down and to the right. On the bottom example, where it is shown how to put all three strokes together, the third stroke goes straight out to the right instead of tilting downwards like the top examples. Which should it be? Or why would they be different?

ChineseFor.UsAcademic Team June 7, 2023 at 11:11 am

Sorry for the confusion. It’s a difference caused by printed script and handwriting script. The angles aren’t as strict as printed script, but in the video that stroke indeed could be more pointing downward. We’ll be more careful and write as standard as possible in the future.

learn3Premium Student June 7, 2023 at 6:13 pm


as a beginner starting from scratch should i learn spoken Chinese first or written characters first ?

Kimberly LopezPremium Student February 22, 2022 at 11:43 pm

I am left handed, so would I write in the oppostie direction for heng and dian?

ChineseFor.UsAcademic Team March 12, 2022 at 9:20 am

The way to write a character is the same for right-handed and left-handed people.

Should we start memorizing the words used as examples?

ChineseFor.UsAcademic Team February 22, 2022 at 8:58 am

It is not mandatory but it’s always good to memorize more characters.

DeZeanPremium Student December 16, 2021 at 3:40 am

While writing, would it just be memorization that helps us to remember the stroke order or, after time we just form a pattern to know?

  • this helped me a lot i learned so much by just seeing one video thanks soo much!
Roxanne CuPremium Student January 13, 2021 at 9:48 am

Hi, Lili. What is the last stroke in xia (down)? Was it a heng (horizontal ) or a dian (dot)? Thanks.

Omid BurginPremium Student August 1, 2021 at 2:47 am

It’s a dian (点). I believe that the 下 and 上 are not exact mirrors, as 下uses dian and 上uses heng.

Hello lili. Can you show the lessons please.

Riya SinhaStudent June 7, 2020 at 11:12 am

Will these strokes help me to cover all the chinese words?

IKERA ClarkeGuest July 23, 2020 at 10:34 am

How do you put the strokes together and get the word for it

Lacey JoPremium Student July 28, 2020 at 2:22 pm

That depends on the specific character you want to write. Each character is composed of one or more of the strokes covered in this course; the exact composition of the strokes depends on the character. I’ve been studying Chinese for only about 8 months (I’m taking these courses to improve my foundation before I try to continue) but I find the characters are easier to read/understand/learn if you understand the strokes, stroke order, and even the radicals that compose them. Every time I learn a new word, I take the time to learn the character(s) that compose the word.

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