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10 common mistakes in Chinese stroke order

There was a small piece in one of the Qingdao newspapers the other day about Chinese characters that are commonly written with incorrect stroke orders. I can't remember which paper now, unfortunately, but I've listed the characters and their correct stroke orders here.



方 (fāng)


How most people write it:



How it should be written:




Yep, that ㇆ stroke comes before the 丿. The 丿stroke is called 撇 ('slant'), and the ㇆ stroke is called 横折钩 ('right angle hook'). The right angle hook should be written before the slant, despite most people doing it the other way round.



万 (wàn)


Characters with this as a component are frequently written in the wrong order:




Again, you should write the ㇆ before the 丿, like this:




火 (huǒ)


Apparently, a lot of people write 火 in this order:




The correct order is in fact:




The strokes in 火 are 丶 ㇀| 丿㇏, called 点, 提, 竖, 撇 and 捺 respectively.



车 (chē)


There seems to be some debate about the correct stroke order for 车, but according to the newspaper article you don't write it like this:




The correct order is in fact:


The article also pointed out another common mistake involving 车. Play spot the difference with these two versions of 轻:




When 车 appears as a radical in other characters (e.g. 转, 较, 载), the final 一 stroke actually turns into a ㇀. As far as I know this upward slant is purely aesthetic, and just helps to balance the character; you might be able to improve your handwriting a little if you pay attention to this!



里 (lǐ)


This one really surprised me, and I still can't get used to it. I always thought that 里 was written in this order:




You're actually supposed to write 甲 first then just add two lines, like this:




快 (kuài)


Previously I'd been writing 快 like this:




The 忄 radical is actually written in a different order:




This applies to any character containing the 忄 radical, of course: 情, 性, 怀 etc.



母 (mǔ)


Apparently some people write 母 like this:



The first stroke of 母 is actually ㇄, making five strokes in total:




及 (jí)


Strictly speaking, the following order is wrong:




You're supposed to write the 丿 stroke first, like this:




So the correct order is 丿㇋㇏. The same thing applies for similar looking characters, like 九, which should be 丿 then ㇈.



义 (yì)


There are definitely a lot of people that write 义 in the 'wrong' order, as the technically correct one does seem a little strange. First up, the incorrect stroke order:




It's actually supposed to be written like this, though:




The dot (丶) should be written first, followed by the criss-crossing strokes.



爽 (shuǎng)


And finally, a slightly less common character that often gets written in the wrong order. It's tempting to write 爽 like this:




But according to the newspaper article, 爽 should actually be written like this:



Translated from: eastasiastudent

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