So, I've been trying to figure out the proper way to say "chapter" for a long time in Chinese. Is this something that depends on a case by case basis? (i.e. a chapter in a novel would be different in a textbook.) Or is there one word that cover all of the different uses? (Or are there multiple?).

  • 3
    Textbooks usually use 单元, which mean unit but is equivalent to the English 'chapter'. 章 is more likely to be used in modern novels for chapter. Ancient materials would be more likely to use 回.
    – Mou某
    Aug 17, 2014 at 16:17

4 Answers 4


There are a quite few ways to denote a chapter in Chinese. Some of the most commonly seen are:

章, 卷, 回, 篇.

If you wish, you can easily find examples of their usages here: "www.shuku.net". For your convenience, here are some links.

章: http://www.shuku.net:8080/novels/classic/zhongyong.html

卷: http://www.shuku.net:8080/novels/history/csdsgz/sgz.html

Because I need at least 10 reputation points to post more than 2 links, I cannot link examples of others.


There are many examples of chapter usage on Jukuu here are two common usages I've seen (referring to the chapter by content or number).

Referring to a chapter in a book:

{This chapter} focuses on personas and their goals. Other models are considered briefly at the end of the chapter.

{本章} 重点讨论人物角色及其目标,结尾处将简要谈谈其他模型。

Usage with a number:

For more on scrollbars, see {Chapter 21}. 关于滚动条的更多信息参见 {第21章}。

More samples from Simplified-Chinese English Dictionary SCE-Dictionary Samples

From CC-Dict:


chapter; section; clause; movement; seal; badge; regulation; order

zhāng jié

章节 chapter; section



scroll; book; volume; chapter; examination paper; classifier for books, paintings: volume, scroll

Other usages may exist but they get further away from the more common usage of the word chapter.


There are several possibilities, from a dictionary:

chapter ['tʃæptə] n. 1. (书、论文或其他著作的)章,节,回


cover all of the different uses : 章

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