The Basic Rules of Writing Chinese


1. Write héng before shù: horizonal stroke before vertical. For example: "" .

2. Write piě before nà: left-falling stroke before right-falling stroke. For examples: "" and "".

3. Write from top to bottom. The upper part of a character usually is written before lower part. For example: "" and "".

4. Write héng before piě. For example:

5. Write left first and then right. For examle: "" and ""

6. "The door is closed last". For examle:

7. Write the outside before inside. For examle: (rì, means sun)

8. Write the central verticals before two sides. For example: "小”.

9. When a horizontal stroke is in the middle, write the horizontal stroke last  "".

10. These rules should be applied flexibly.  For example, rule 1 is horizonal stroke before vertical, but the character is written with vertical stroke first which follows rule 5: Write left first and then right