In some texts, I have seen the following brackets:

  • Caret brackets: 《, 》, 〈, and 〉.
  • Square brackets: 【, 】, 〖, and 〗.
  • C-brackets: 〔 and 〕.
  • L-brackets: 「, 」, 『, and 』.

Some questions:

  • What are the Chinese names of these brackets?
  • What are the meanings of these brackets?
  • In what situations is each of these used? Is the usage exactly the same as their Western counterparts?
  • What are the differences between the solid brackets and hollow brackets?

4 Answers 4

  • Caret brackets: 《, 》,〈, and 〉. Called 双书名号(Double Angle Quotation Mark) and 单书名号(Single Angle Quotation Mark) in Chinese, both of them are 书名号.
  • Square brackets: 【, 】,〖, and 〗. Called 实心方头括号 and 空心方头括号 in Chinese, both of them are 括号.
  • C-brackets: 〔 and 〕. Called 六角括号 in Chinese, it belongs to 括号 either.
  • L-brackets: 「, 」, 『, and 』. Called 引号 in Chinese, they're same as “” and ‘’.


It is a symbol to identify the title, newspaper name, file name, opera name, song name, picture name, book name, the name of film and television programs, etc.
《》 and 〈〉 are used in horizontal format(Vertical format use ︽︾ and ︿﹀), and can be used nested. You need use 《》/︽︾ first, then 〈〉/︿﹀, then 《》/︽︾,...
There're also some other types of 书名号, you can refer to the wiki page HERE.


There're many types:

  • 圆括号
    • 半型圆括号:()
    • 全角圆括号:()
  • 方括号:[]
  • 六角括号:〔〕
  • 方头括号
    • 实心方头括号【】
    • 空心方头括号〖〗
  • 花括号:{}

You can refer to the wiki page HERE.
They are often used for notes and comments in articles. And 【】/〖〗 often used in formal papers、articles that edited by computer(Handwritten articles will not use them, just use (), [], etc):


It is often placed at the bottom of a page.
〖〗 is rarely used, and I'm not sure whether it is used for nesting with 【】 or not.


It's used for quoting, and like 书名号, you need to use “”/「」 first, then ‘’/『』:

  1. 他站起来问:“老师,‘有条不紊’的 ‘紊’是什么意思?”
  2. 他站起来问:「老师,『有条不紊』的 『紊』是什么意思?」

Generally speaking, the second one is rarely used. It's mostly used for quoting inside a quote. You can refer to the wiki page HERE.

  • dude that's 'caret' not 'carrot'... Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 16:36
  • @JohnFrazer lol, copied from OP, didn't notice it.
    – Kjuly
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 10:50
  • 1
    @JohnFrazer Actually the correct name in English is Double Angle Bracket or Double Angle Quotation Mark. Ref:[1] [2]
    – zypA13510
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 12:20

“《》” is used exclusively around names of books or articles. When referring to a book name inside a “《》”, use “〈〉” (in a way similar to the use of ' and ").


Carrot brackets: 《, 》,〈, and 〉: They are called 书名号. @Frank has given their use in his answer.

Square brackets: 【, 】,〖, and 〗, C-brackets: 〔 and 〕: They are all 括号.
【, 】: 实心方头括号
〖, 〗: 空心方头括号
I only just found their names in wiki, as they are not often used. Some of the situation that they may be used can be found in the wiki page.

The only pair of 括号 that is consistently used in articles is 〔, 〕, which is also called 圆括号. It is used to show comment, annotation, explanation, etc. to the previous word or sentence. The contents inside will be usually ignored when the passage is read out.

L-brackets: 「, 」, 『, and 』: These are quotation marks 引号, the previous pair is 单引号, the latter 双引号. The usage are almost the same as “ ” and ‘ ’ , but cannot be mixed with them. In mainland China, “” and ‘’ will be usage.

A further search in wiki and baidubaike gives me some interesting results about quotation marks.

In China mainland, “” will be used. When nested, the quotation marks are used in this way:

“ ... ‘ ... “ ... ” ... ’ ... ”

That is, the out most pair is “” , the inner one is ‘’, and if there is another quotation level inside ‘’ , “” will be used again.

In Hongkong and Taiwan, 「」 will be used. And when nested: 「 ... 『 ... 』 ... 」 . I don't know what to use with more nesting levels.


You might find my article on this helpful:

Intro to Chinese Punctuation with Computer Language Syntax Perspectives

By the way, I've never heard of 〈〉 or 《》 referred to as carrot brackets, nor C-bracket or L-bracket. See the Unicode names for these chars in the above, also English name and Chinese name.

Note that in traditional Chinese before exchange with western cultures (say before 1900s), there's no any of () [] {} “” ‘’ used in Chinese. Also, Chinese were written almost exclusively vertically (thus, all the horizontal ones such as 〈〉 《》 【】 〖〗 are rather recent.)

The main ones are just these:

• 「」 『』 analogous to ‘’ and “” or French ‹› «»

• 【】 〖〗 〔〕 are analogous to () [] {}

• 〈〉 《》 are for book and other work's titles

These, in particular the vertical versions, are the main ones.

Today in the computer age, all of the above including western ones () [] {} ‘’ “” are common. These are becoming rare: 【】 〖〗 〔〕.

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