How to distinguish between characters and words when reading Chinese?
Quick Briefing: Chinese Characters
Which Chinese characters belong to which word?
However, this is not the usual case. When learning the first few hundred characters, you will notice which words are usually put together — 漂 if often next to 亮 to make 漂亮 or ‘beautiful. So as you learn more vocabulary, this will become clearer.
Next, as you learn more grammar and sentence structure, you will soon be able to see the markers in a sentence. There are several grammar structures that start and close part of the sentence. For example, the phrase “Everything… except for…” (除了。。。以外。。。) will help you notice where ideas stop and start.
One last thing you will improve on is contractions. Native Chinese speakers (when writing especially!) will abbreviate words to make them smaller and more concise. Ie. When writing “tomorrow morning” they won’t use the full four words version 明天早上 but instead condense it down to simply 明早 to save time and space.
So, my advice is to learn more words, learn more grammar, and keep reading more! Good luck learning Chinese! Take a free Chinese lesson with a real teacher to make sure your skills are up to snuff!