I asked a similar question about Japanese here.

  • Chinese names are sometimes stylized last name + space + first name.


Here the author's name 马骥 is stylized, last name + space + first name:

马 骥

  • Hanyu Da Cidian likes to throw spaces around proper nouns.

Here's a screenshot from Pleco


First and second spaces can been seen:

清 李光庭

(the second space is after 庭 and before《)

Third and fourth spaces:

唐 李益 詩

Are there any rules as to the usage of spaces in Chinese?

  • 1
    Space in Chinese names: do you mean the alignment of 2 and 3 character names?
    – imrek
    Apr 21, 2016 at 5:57
  • I'm not entirely sure what you're asking. In general, Chinese uses no spaces whatsoever, at least not within sentences. Check any book or any website in Chinese and you will find that this is the case. This includes names.
    – Olle Linge
    Apr 21, 2016 at 6:27
  • 1
    @OlleLinge Added pic.
    – Mou某
    Apr 21, 2016 at 6:30
  • 2
    I agree with @DrunkenMaster 's opinion – although in this case it's not alignment, it's the consideration of typography but not Chinese.
    – Stan
    Apr 21, 2016 at 6:33
  • Another case is 挪抬 (obsolete in Mainland China), which shows extra respect to someone. Though, the 唐 李益 詩 case is unrelated to this usage and would be considered as typographic consideration too.
    – Stan
    Apr 21, 2016 at 14:20

3 Answers 3


No space is needed when writing Chinese names.

Sometimes, spaces are added for better alignment only. To align 2-character and 3-character names, space may be added in between 2-character names. Example:

李 白
杜 甫
李 賀
王 勃


For prettify and easier to recognize at first glance.

清 李光庭

means Qing dynasty, 李光庭 is a name.

唐 李益 詩

means Tang dynasty, 李益 is a name and means poetry.

If no spaces between them, like 唐李益詩 will looks like a man named 李益詩 at Tang dynasty or even an idiom, because we can treat as a verb, 唐李 and are nouns.


This is two cases, as your first figure, '李冀', it is a typography as other answers said.

But in tradition, people's name tend to have leading space, called '抬头'. It shows respect to the one.

As your second screenshot, it uses '抬头' obviously.

Or more accurately, it is '挪抬'. You simply add one-character space before people's name(or other words that addressed he. enter image description here).

All the '蒋总统' have a space before it. Look at the blue rectangle, these poor people '张学良' and '杨虎城' do not have, because they did bad things to '蒋总统'.

enter image description here

This is modern example, '贵部' (Your department) has a space before it.

You can check more infos about '抬头' from wikipedia

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