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LEARN CHINESE: CHINESE PINYIN

Basic Chinese Pinyin Rules

 

1. Usage of y and w

  • When there is no intials before finals starting with i, y shall be added as initial. If there is other vowels after i, i shall be changed to y. For example:
    ia - ya ie -ye iao -yao
    iou -you ian -yan iang -yang
    iong -yong    

    If no vowels after i, just y before i. For example:
    i - yi in -yin ing -ying


  • When there is no intials before finals starting with u, w shall be added as initial. If there is other vowels after u, u shall be changed to w. For example:
    ua - wa uo -wo uai -wai
    uei - wei uan - wan uen - wen
    uang - wang ueng - weng  

    If no vowels after u, just w before u. For example:
    u - wu    

  • When there is no intials before finals starting with ü, y shall be added as initial no matter if there is vowels after ü. When y added, ü is changed to u. For example:
    ü - yu üe - yue üan - yuan
    ün -yun    

2. Usage of mark

  • When syllables starting with a, o, e follow other syllables and may make confusions, mark is used to seperate them. For example:
    piao 票 jiang 讲 min ge 民革 xian 先
    pi ao 皮袄 ji ang 激昂 ming e 名额 xi an 西安

    3. Abbreviations

  • Abbreviations of iou, uei and uen
    When there is initials before iou, uei and uen, they are abbraviated as iu, ui and un. For Example:
    niou - niu guei - gui luen -lun
    If no initials proceed, then they still abide by the rules of usage of y and w shown above.


  • When initials other than n and l proceed finals ü starting with, ü changes to u.
    nü - nü lü - lü jü - ju qü - qu


  • When uo follows initials b, p, m, or f, u is dropped, resulting in bo, po, mo, or fo.
    buo - bo puo - po muo -mo fuo - fo


  • The final er can follow other finals to form retroflection. In the follow case, er is abbraviated as r.
    When er is attached as suffix to finals a, o, e u, -ng. For example:
    bar 把儿 mor 沫儿 ger 歌儿 shur 数儿 rangr 瓤儿

    When er is attached as suffix to finals ai, an, en, drop the final letter and er is abbraviated as r. For example:
    hair 孩儿 bianr 边儿 pianr 片儿

    When er is attached as suffix to finals i and ü, er is shorted as r.
    pir 皮儿 qir 旗儿 qur 曲儿

    When er is attached as suffix to finals -i, in, and un, the final letter is dropped.
    sher 事儿