How to use Chinese punctuation marks?

Chinese punctuations

Chinese punctuation uses a different set of punctuation marks from European languages, although the concept of modern standard punctuation was adapted in the written language during the 20th century from Western punctuation marks.

Let’s have a look:

hào:full stop, used at the end of simple or complex sentence.

▶︎  jīntiānshìdeshēng
Today’s my birthday.


dòuhào:comma, used to separate clauses within a sentence, and to indicate pauses.

▶︎ xuǎnliàngdexìnfēng使shǐpiànkànhǎokàn
She chose a bright envelope that set off the card well.


dùnhào:enumeration comma, used when listing things in sentences.

▶︎ dezhuōzishàngyǒushǒushūběnzi
There are mobile phone, pens, book and notebook on my table.


……shěnglüèhào:ellipsis, used when text is omitted or indicate an interruption. In Chinese, the ellipsis is written with six dots.

▶︎ xiǎotānshàngdeshuǐguǒzhēnshǎoyǒupíngguǒshuǐtáo…………
There are so many fruits on the stalls, such as apples, pears, peaches…


——zhéhào:dash, used for explanations, change topic or used when a sound is written in words.

I live on a beautiful planet – the earth.


jiànhào:center dot, used between foreign or minority names, book names, dynasties and names of people.

Harry Potter


《》书名号:title mark, a symbol to identify the title, newspaper name, file name, song name etc.

▶︎ yǒutàohónglóumèng》。》。
I have a set of Dream of Red Chamber.


“”引号:quotation marks, used to mark a quote or mark the name/title of something. It also can be used to emphasize or to express satire.

▶︎ shuōshí?”?”        méiyǒushénmeméishuō。”。”
“What did you say?”      “Nothing. Nothing at all.”

He asked, “Mom, what does ‘tiger’ mean?”

These following Chinese punctuation marks are the same as their English counterparts and have the same usage as in English. Their names are as follows:

jīngtànhào exclamation mark

wènhào question mark

fēnhào semicolon

màohào colon

()kuòhào parentheses


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