This question is about writing the hanzi ; it's written as follows:

少 stroke order; sourced from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%E5%B0%91-bw.png

Sometimes when I write this hanzi by hand, I write the first three strokes to look like , which looks different because it has a hooked first stroke:

小 stroke order; sourced from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%E5%B0%8F-bw.png

I'm wondering if it's incorrect, or merely a matter of style (or font).

Question: Is it incorrect to write 少 with a hooked first stroke, like 小?

  • 1
    If you write it with that little hook in an exam of the mainland China, then it's wrong. Not sure other regions.
    – dan
    Jun 17, 2018 at 5:27

1 Answer 1


![enter image description here

Incorrect is a relative term.

On the whole, I'm going to say no, it's not incorrect, and it's easier to learn the character if you write it with a hook, because the glyph origin of「少」was「小」compounded with「丿」, and「小」is never written without the hook.

  • I think an important aspect, which is missing in this answer, is that it's regional. On the whole, I'm going to say no, it's not incorrect, is not a proper way to address it.
    – dan
    Jun 17, 2018 at 12:38
  • @dan that is not the correct way to interpret it. Real life usage of Chinese characters is certainly not dictated by a particular region's school educational guidelines, otherwise you're suggesting e.g. that these calligraphic samples of「少」 can be regionally distinguished based on the presence of the hook. (BTW, you can't regionaly distinguish them based on this, those samples are all from mainland China)
    – dROOOze
    Jun 17, 2018 at 12:57
  • I know sometimes we have more tolerance in artist 书法. But I will tell you 少 with a little hook is wrong within the mainland China. Every educated person will tell you that's wrong. What we suppose to tell here is standard language. If you can approve that 少 with a little hook is possible in other regions, then you should point it out it's regional.
    – dan
    Jun 17, 2018 at 13:18
  • Please see this dictionary: m.zdic.net/z/?u=5C11
    – dan
    Jun 17, 2018 at 13:21
  • 1
    @dan If you understand 筆順, then you'll see that the most fluent and common way of writing everywhere, which is in 行書, does not distinguish between whether there's a hook or not at the end of the first stroke, as the bottom of the first stroke links naturally to the second stroke on the left. No serious person actually trained in Chinese writing will make a claim that having a hook is "wrong", and taking the advice of your so-called "educated people" (really, you just mean laymen) is like listening to a non-physicist on the matters of physics. I cannot give such misleading advice, sorry.
    – dROOOze
    Jun 17, 2018 at 13:37

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