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Chinese Chracaters -- 003: Chinese Characters' Structure & Material


After introducing something about Chinese Characters' Development, Creating Models, today, I would like to introduce something about Chinese characters' structure and Chinese characters' making of materials, to help you to know how the Chinese characters are built and what the materials to build them are.

First of All, The Four Structure Styles of Chinese Characters

1. Single Structure -- a Chinese character can not be spited.
2. Up and Down Structure -- a Chinese character has two parts up and down.
3. Left and Right Structure-- a Chinese character has two parts left and right. For example:
4. Inside and outside Structure-- a Chinese character has inside and outside two parts.

For example:

Notes: some Chinese character has more parts, but we judge its structure according to its main part. For example:

畢 Forest -- the main structure is up and down. Its down part, is a left and right structure.
尺 Frame -- the main structure is up and down. Its up part is a left and right structure.

Secondly, The Components of Chinese Characters -- Pian Pang

We call the different parts in a Chinese character "Pian Pang -- character components. Except the single structure Chinese characters, the other ones are all made of different components.

Thirdly, the Indexing Component( Radicals) of Chinese Characters -- Bushou

For helping people to check a Chinese character in a dictionary as soon as possible. The scholars who edited the dictionary made the characters that have a same part ?radical¨ together, as a subdivision, then, to take the same part as the first character of this subdivision. This character is called the indexing component

Chose a part of character components that are same in many characters as the indexing components.

For example:

There are about 200 indexing component in Chinese characters, but there are about 600 redicals

Fourthly, the Strokes of Chinese Characters

There are 8 strokes, just them have made thousands and thousands Chinese Characters, words and phrases:

Now we have known something about Chinese characters' structure and material. Later, I will show you how to write and read them. I really hope that what I have learned to do will be a little bit help to you to learn Chinese characters.   

If you have any questions, comments and suggestions, please write to , or, You are welcomed.
Shirley Zhang
Written, Edited on Sun,Oct 28, 2007