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How Chinese Punctuation Differs From Latinized Punctuation

written by: Sujanti Djuanda • edited by: Tricia Goss • updated: 9/10/2013

Chinese punctuation marks are used to aide the clarity of written language as in English. Here you continue to learn how to write other Chinese punctuation marks that are different from English in shape and usage.

  • slide 1 of 8

    Writing Punctuation Marks

    This article is the second part of How to Write Chinese Punctuation – Marks Similar To European Punctuation

    1. 句号 【jùhào=full stop, periode】

    2. 顿号 【dùnhào=enumeration comma, pause mark】

    3. 间隔号【jiàngéhào= Middle Dot】

    4. 双书名号 【shuāngshūmínghào=double book title marks, double title marks】

    5. 单书名号【dānshūmínghào= single book title marks, single title marks】

    6. 代字号【dàizìhào=wavy dash】

    7. 专名号 【zhuānmínghào=proper noun mark】

  • slide 2 of 8

    Full Stop or Period 句号 【jùhào】

    English symbol: .

    Chinese punctuation mark: 。

    a. It is used at the end of a declarative sentence.

    Example:

    I like soccer.

    我 【wǒ=I】 喜欢 【xǐhuān= like】 足球 【zúqiú=soccer】。

    我 喜欢 足球。

    b. It is placed below in vertical writing.

    c. It is used for imperative sentences (if the emotion is not too strong).

    Example:

    Please wait a moment.

    请 【qǐng=please】 稍等 【shāoděng=wait a moment】。

    请 稍等。

    d. It is used at the end of an indirect question.

    Example:

    I want to know how she cancels.

    我 【wǒ=I】 想【xiǎng=want to】 知道【zhīdào=know】 她【tā=she】 怎样【zěnyàng=how】 撤销【chèxiāo= cancels】。

    我 想 知道 她 怎样 撤销。

  • slide 3 of 8

    Comma or Pause Mark 顿号 【dùnhào】

    English symbol: ,

    Chinese punctuation mark: 、

    It is used to separate items in a series with/without a conjunction, such as hé=and or yǔ=and.

    Example 1: (without a conjunction)

    Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou are China’s big cities.

    北京 【BěiJīng=Beijing】 、 上海【ShàngHǎi=Shanghai】 、 广州 【GuǎngZhōu=Guangzhou】 是 【shì=are】 中国 【Zhōngguó=China】的 【de】大城市 【dàchéngshì=big cities】。

    北京、上海、广州 是 中国 的 大城市。

    Example 2: (with a conjunction)

    北京 【BěiJīng=Beijing】 、 上海【ShàngHǎi=Shanghai】 和 【hé=and】 广州 【GuǎngZhōu=Guangzhou】 是 【shì=are】 中国 【Zhōngguó=China】 的 【de】 大城市 【dàchéngshì=big cities】。

    北京、上海 和 广州 是 中国 的 大城市。

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    Middle Dot 间隔号【jiàngéhào】

    English symbol: (none)

    Chinese punctuation mark: •

    a. It is used to separate the foreign names.

    Example:

    Ludwig van Beethoven

    路德维希 【lùdéwéixī=Ludwig】• 凡【fán=van】• 贝多芬【bèiduōfēn=Beethoven】

    路德维希•凡•贝多芬

    b. It is used to separate book title and volume.

    Example:

    The Encyclopedia of United Kingdom, United Kingdom Literature

    《英国 【Yīngguó=United Kingdom】 百科全书【bǎikēquánshū=encyclopedia】• 英国 【Yīngguó= United Kingdom】 文字【wénzì=literature】》

    《英国 百科全书•英国 文字》

  • slide 5 of 8

    Quotation Marks or Double Title Marks 双书名号 【shuāngshūmínghào】

    English symbols: “…"

    Chinese punctuation mark: 《...》

    It is used for titles of books, articles, movies, songs, newspapers, etc.

    Example:

    “The 300 Tang Poems" (book)

    《唐 【Táng=Tang Dynasty】 诗【shī=poems】 三百【sānbǎi=300】 首【shǒu= a measure word for poems】》

    《唐 诗 三百 首》

  • slide 6 of 8

    Single Title Marks 单书名号【dānshūmínghào】

    English symbols: ‘…’

    Chinese punctuation mark:〈...〉

    It is used inside a double book-title mark.

    Example:

    “Title ── Author ‘Subtitle’"

    《标题 【biāotí=title】——作者 【zuòzhě=author】〈副标题 【fùbiāotí=subtitle】〉》

    《标题 —— 作者〈副标题〉》

  • slide 7 of 8

    Tilde or Wavy Dash 代字号【dàizìhào】

    English symbol: -

    Chinese punctuation mark: ~

    a. It is used to signify a range.

    Example:

    The children of 4-6 years of age

    6 ? ?suì=years of age?~6 岁 【suì=years of age】的【de】 儿童【értóng=children】

    4~6 岁 的 儿童

    b. Two 代字号【dàizìhào=wavy dashare used to indicate a prolonged vowel in quoted speech.

    Example:

    Waaah

    哇【wā=wah, sound of a child crying】~~

    哇~~

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    Proper Noun Mark 专名号 【zhuānmínghào】

    English symbol: (none)

    Chinese punctuation mark: __ , ~~~~ or | (vertical writing)

    a. It is used to underline proper nouns in teaching materials and writings related to history.

    Example:

    The Tang dynasty was established in A.D 618.

    唐朝 【Táng cháo=dynasty Tang】 建立【jiànlì=established】 于【yú=in】618 年 【nián=year】。

    唐朝建立 于 618 年。

    b. A waved line (~~~~) can also be used as proper noun mark.

    Example: How To Write Chinese Punctuation Marks - waved line 

    Here the wave line (~~~~) can’t be shown so I use the image instead. You can show it using MS Word with the full Chinese language pack on your computer.

    c. In vertical writing, 专名号【zhuānmínghàois written as a vertical line to the left of the characters (or right in several older books).

    Example:How To Write Chinese Punctuation Marks - vertical line 

    Here the vertical line can’t be shown so I used the image instead. You can draw it using MS PowerPoint with full Chinese language pack on your computer.

How to Write Chinese Punctuation

Here you learn how to write Chinese punctuation marks that are similar with European but they are in full width instead of half width and others Chinese punctuation marks that are different with English in shape and usage. Also, how to type Chinese punctuation marks using MS Word.
  1. Can You Use English Punctuation in Chinese?
  2. How Chinese Punctuation Differs From Latinized Punctuation
  3. Learn Mandarin: How To Create Chinese Punctuation Marks Using MS Word

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