I've encountered two different stroke orders for writing 里:

Two stroke orders for 里

They disagree at the fifth stroke. The first one is on Wiktionary and Visual Mandarin, while the second I encountered on TOFU Learn (link to website) and Arch Chinese (and on a Japanese site).

Similarly for 再:

Two stroke orders for 再

They disagree at the fourth stroke. The first one is on Visual Mandarin and Chinese Hideout, while the second one is on Wikipedia.

Question: Are both these stroke orders for 里 and 再 correct in mainland China?

I'm interested in mainland China in particular, since that's where I'm located (Tianjin, specifically).

  • see chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/29812/… elementary school handbook 教学汉字规范手册 has examples of accepted variations of stroke order: 由于汉字结构复杂,有些汉字习惯的写法与笔顺规则不尽一直,天长日久,也就流传和固定下来了。女、火、长,丑、非等字就是这样 there are more online sites showing stroke order, e.g. bishun.shufaji.com/0x518D.html which shows bottom choice for 里,再, this user has a mainland website printout showing both orders for 再
    – user6065
    Commented Jun 23, 2018 at 1:10
  • The "official" stroke order for a certain character can be different in different languages and/or different regions. The wikipedia page contains information about the character in many different languages but doesn't show the source of the stroke order.
    – fefe
    Commented Jun 23, 2018 at 2:40
  • Especially for 里, whatever you get taught matters less, and the second stroke order is recommended. Once you get into the habit of writing faster in cursive, writing the last two strokes as 二 will save you from getting hand cramps in the long run. If you’re not getting tested in stroke order I highly recommend a traditional Chinese cursive stroke order guide to writing regular script, or a Japanese stroke order guide instead. The Chinese ones (both Mainland and Taiwan) kills your hands.
    – dROOOze
    Commented Jun 23, 2018 at 6:43

2 Answers 2


I usually look up this dictionary for stroke orders. There could be some other useful sites like this one.

I personally apply the second order for 再 and 里 as you quoted. In practice, the stroke order doesn't really matter and you can develop your own stylish based on the standard one. For native speakers, we would only be taught and tested the standard orders in primary school. It becomes meaningless when we grow up. We almost forget the standard orders for certain characters. When we teach our kids, sometimes we have to look up those authoritative resources online.

I think the reason why we still need to learn the stroke order is that we need understand the conventions on how to write a Chinese character.

  • A little misleading, it's still important to handwriting, you can't do stroke order randomly, but don't need to follow the exact standards.
    – user19549
    Commented Jun 23, 2018 at 13:57
  • @神秘德里克 you should read the answer closely. I didn't suggest do stroke order randomly. I said " you can develop your own stylish based on the standard one". Anyway, if you have a better suggestion for wording, feel free to edit my answer. Thanks!
    – dan
    Commented Jun 23, 2018 at 23:43

Wow, I didn't know stroke orders differ between mainland China and Taiwan too. I'm from Taiwan and @dan is from China I assume.

I was taught using the first order both for 里 and 再. So apparently the first is Taiwanese version, and the second is Chinese version.

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