Editing for print

After basic editing is done, there are still some finer points that need to addressed for each grammar point before Chinese Grammar Wiki content is ready for print. The main ones are:


Above all, explanations need to be CLEAR. That doesn't mean we need to explain every possible meaning of a word in a grammar point about it. On the contrary, we often purposely "chunk" a single word into easier grammar points and more advanced grammar points. We break it up into smaller, digestible units so that learners don't get frustrated.

So if you read a Chinese Grammar Wiki article and you don't really understand it, it's a problem, and the article needs editing. This is especially true of A1; anyone should be able to read any A1 grammar point and follow it. A2 should assume only knowledge of basic A1 grammar points, and even then, A2 points should be linking back to the A1 grammar points they're assuming knowledge of.

When you read a grammar point, you shouldn't need to "brae yourself" for an uncomfortable barrage of "grammar-speak." Reading grammar points (especially at the lower level) should not be a mental challenge. Just make sure that when you keep things simple, you're not getting vague or inaccurate. (This is rarely an issue.)


Use an informal voice, and avoid sounding like a textbook or grammar teacher. Use "you" instead of "one" as the subject.

Use precise terms when necessary, but don't use them unnecessarily.


For A1 and A2, all characters that appear in grammar point text need to be followed by pinyin in parentheses. (Put a space after the Chinese and before the open-paren, but not within the parentheses.)

Obviously, you need to make sure that the pinyin is correct (and not capitalized).

Opening Paragraph

The first paragraph of any entry should be a short introduction to the grammar point, and should include any key Chinese words in characters, with relevant pinyin. The intro paragraph can be cute/funny/punny, but it should not be meaningless; it needs to convey information! It should not be like a cliffhanger or "teaser." It should not say something like, "read on to learn more about..."

In this case, you can follow Wikipedia's lead. They normally do a good job of this (although our intro paragraphs should usually only be 2-3 sentences).

Article Structure

The minimum components for an article are:

  1. intro paragraph
  2. (grammar point) structure
  3. (grammar point) examples
  4. Sources and further reading

Many articles are split into several different uses with slightly different grammar patterns, though. They are structured like this:

  1. intro paragraph
  2. Use #1
    1. structure
    2. examples
  3. Use #2
    1. structure
    2. examples
  4. Sources and further reading

Note that they should not look like this:

  1. intro paragraph
  2. structure
  3. examples
  4. structure
  5. examples
  6. Sources and further reading

...or like this:

  1. intro paragraph
  2. structure #1
  3. examples #1
  4. structure #2
  5. examples #2
  6. Sources and further reading

Make sure that the different uses are broken down into "big sections" (using the "==" H2 tag), with the "structure" and "examples" as sub-sections (using the "===" H3 tag).


Make sure periods and commas are where they need to be.

Use the serial comma (e.g. "A, B, and C" and not "A, B and C").

Include periods and commas within quotes (like "this," not like "this," OK?). Don't use curly-quotes.