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Lesson 13 Pinyin Finals - Part 4

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In this lesson, finish up the group of finals you started in the last lesson - the finals that start with the letter 'i'. Make sure you watch all the way to the end to learn an essential spelling rule associated with this group.
Lesson Audio Review
In this lesson, finish up the group of finals you started in the last lesson - the finals that start with the letter 'i'. Make sure you watch all the way to the end to learn an essential spelling rule associated with this group.

Comments (39)

Hi. It's very difficult for me to hear how pinyin is pronounced. The "y" should be silent, right? However, I often hear a "y" sound when pinYin is pronounced. Are my ears playing tricks on me, or is there really a "y" (as in "yes") sound in this word (pinyin)?
you.can.master.english 4 months 1 week ago
Great question! The pinyin "y" is not silent -- if you put it before "ao", you can hear the sound clearly (imagine the sound "yāo vs. ao). The tricky think with the word "Pinyin" is that the "i" sound happens to be the similar sound with the "y", so when they are combined, it sounds like the "y" sound goes the silent. We don't have to pronounce the "i" sound twice in one syllable. I hope that helps!
JonathanYoyo 4 months 1 week ago
This question has puzzled me, too. Take this specific example: yī. With this word, I don't hear the 'y' at all; it doesn't sound at all like "yee" (to use English spelling) to me. But I definitely hear the y with words like "yo". Maybe "yi" is the one special case where the y is silent.
Corey 4 months 1 week ago
Yes, exactly! When the "y" is followed by all the other vowel sounds, it is very noticeable (think of "yāng" or "yāo" or "yuān"). But when followed by the "i", the "y" is almost more like a placeholder -- it blends with the sound the "i" makes in Chinese (like in "yī" or "yin" or "ying").
JonathanYoyo 4 months 1 week ago
Just like the 'w' is silent in "wu", but not in "wan".
Corey 4 months 1 week ago
Hmm, I think it's more complex, now that I think about it. Take the example of “音乐” yīnyuè. In this word, I don't hear the 'y' in yīn, but I do hear it in 拼音 pīnyīn.
Corey 4 months 1 week ago
The 音(yīn) in 音乐(yīn yuè) should be pronounced the same as in 拼音(pīn yīn)... in both the "y" sound is blended with the following "i" sound. Perhaps because in the word 拼音 (pīn yīn) it is the second character and not the first, the "y" sounds a little bit more present to you, but you should try to pronounce them the same. Any pinyin sound with the correct tone will sound the same, no matter what character it relates to or it's place in a word or sentence.
JonathanYoyo 4 months 1 week ago
Thank you! This really helps! I will take this to heart.
Corey 4 months 1 week ago
Glad I could help! 加油(jiā yóu)!
JonathanYoyo 4 months 1 week ago
Teacher i have a question, i have seen Thank you in this form "Xièxiè" in another sources before finding your videos. In your videos you say it is 4 tone then neutral. Thank you!.
dlopeza15 1 year 7 months ago
Yes, the standard pinyin for "xie" is 4th tone, but when repeating the word the second one is usually pronounced in neutral tone.
Yoyo Chinese 1 year 7 months ago
Yangyang, what tones do I use to pronounce last names (or full names in general)? Is there a reference guide somewhere? I know it would not be possible to cover all names, so maybe you can help me with the last names Wang and Zhang for now, since I've seen these in the chinese entertainment industry. Thanks :)
2013hal 2 years 4 months ago
For last name pronunciation, there is no specific rules on what tone to use. It depends on the characters. For last name like Wang and Zhang are very common Chinese last names. Wang王 is pronounced 2nd tone, and Zhang张 is pronounced 1st tone. However, there may be other less common last names as wang and zhang with different tones.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 4 months ago
Is friend pronounced as péng níu? Because that is how it sounds like to me when I listened to the audio review. Thanks :)
jasonav 2 years 5 months ago edited
Not exactly. Friend should be pronounced as péng yǒu. Please check out our video-based pinyin chart for demonstration. :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 5 months ago
I know what Jason is hearing. When someone is saying the "péng" as the combination "péng yǒu" the tongue does something interesting in the middle. At the "ng" part of "péng", the tongue is in position to launch into the next word "yǒu". If the transition happens quickly or the speaker pushes off the back of the first word into the second word a little hard, a non-native speaker may hear "niu" instead of "you". The native speaker will hear it correctly as "péng yǒu".
Hodge 2 years 2 months ago
Please answer how do you ask someone 1)What is this? 2) What is this used for? 3) How do you do this? 4) How long have you worked here? How do you say 1) the weather is really cold today. 2) The weather forecast says it should be about 10 degrees warmer tomorrow.3) I do not like the cold north wind. 4)I am so skinny that the wind cuts right through me. I have an idea how to say some of these and want verification. Some I do not know at all. Thanks so much for your help and I love the course.
gs328404860 2 years 7 months ago
1) What is this = zhè shì shén me? 2) What is this used for = zhè shì yóng lái zuò shén me de? 3) How do you do this? zhè ge zěn me zuò? 4) How long have worked here = nì zài zhè li gōng zuò duō cháng shí jiān le? 1) The weather is really cold today = jīn tiān de tiān qì zhēn lěng. 2) The weather forecast says it should be about 10 degrees warmer tomorrow = tiān qì yù bào shuō míng tiān huì nuǎn shí dù zuǒ yòu. 3) I do not like the cold north wind = wǒ bù xǐ huan hěn lěng de běi fēng.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 7 months ago
4) I am so skinny that the wind cuts right through me = wǒ tài shòu le, fēng chuī de wǒ xiàng bèi gē yí yàng. Hope that helps. You may give it a try next time, and we may correct you if needed. :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 7 months ago
Hello :-) liquor is jiu; nine is jiu - both 3rd tone. How do you distinguish between the 2 in the absence of the chinese glyphs? Thank you!
EricVD 2 years 7 months ago
It will have to depend on the context, or the compound words. For example, pí jiǔ, which means beer, it would be the jiǔ as in liquor. jiǔ diǎn, 9 o'clock, it would be the jiǔ as nine.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 7 months ago
So would "pí jiǔ diǎn" be time for a drink? ;)
Kristi 2 years 6 months ago
Hehe, not exactly. There's no such saying.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 6 months ago
Nice Explain ! I have been confusing that for long time . Now things get clear. xie xie lao shi yang yang !
Crome Shine 2 years 8 months ago
Hi, when should I start to learn how to write and read Chinese characters? Or do you start explaining that in the following lessons? Thanks, greetings from Mexico
saido2 2 years 8 months ago
Our courses mainly focus on conversational skills. We suggest you to start learning characters when you've acquired basic conversational skills. We are going to release a Chinese character course in the first quarter of 2015. Hope that will help.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 8 months ago
The iu is pronounced yo but in number 6 and the name, it is pronounced as leo rather than lyo. How I know when to pronounce lyo or leo for consonant plus iu? Xie xie.
Valerie 2 years 10 months ago
Sometimes, adding a consonant to the front of the "iu" final makes speakers place more emphasis on the "i" (ee) sound, so it ends up sounding a little different from the way that "you" (the "iu" final by itself) is pronounced. The two may sound really different to you, to Chinese ears, there's no difference!
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 10 months ago
I too had the same question about vocabulary. I've been converting them over to flashcards to build a common core of every day conversation words and practice typing my pinyin. After 5 lessons I realized it is growing at a much faster rate then I can master. The flash cards system really helps me with my tones. I make mine like the ones in the video and scribble notes. I also use Anki when I am mobile. I am sure over time it will not seem so challenging. Xiè xie!
Rivamonte 3 years 2 weeks ago
It's a great idea to use flashcard to learn vocabs. However, we suggest our student not to worry about learning the characters yet until they master their beginner conversational skills.
Yoyo Chinese 3 years 2 weeks ago
Dear YoyoChinese, Are the expansion exercises meant to drill pinyin pronunciation skills or should we also focus on memorising the vocabulary? I am rather apprehensive about this, as I'm not sure whether to go on to the next exercises before memorising each new word in the expansions. Thank you for the great course!
happyguy 3 years 6 months ago
The vocabulary list is mainly for practicing pinyin pronunciation purpose. You don't need to memorize them. :)
Yoyo Chinese Development 3 years 6 months ago
Thank you very much for clearing that up :)
happyguy 3 years 6 months ago
Please make the Chinese characters larger and clearer so I can write them down.! I love your lessons! they are so good!
Clawpaw 3 years 10 months ago
Hi Melissa, we are glad that you like our lessons and thank you for your feedback. Sorry, you are having a difficult time reading the Chinese characters. The fonts we use are standard Chinese character fonts and that fits our format of our lecture notes. We'll discuss with our team and see if we can modify the font.
Yoyo Chinese Development 3 years 10 months ago
I have that problem also however, you can change the zoom percentage and make the note become bigger. Hope this will help.
DOMINIQUE 3 years 8 months ago
thank you!
Clawpaw 3 years 9 months ago
I see io over here in this pinyin chart, http://www.archchinese.com/chinese_pinyin.html#tonesection1, but it wasn't covered here. What's interesting is that on that site, both io and iu are pronounced the same, but the are pronounced differently than how it is taught here. In that pinyin chart, it is pronounced "eww", as in "eww" they have cooties. In the video, io is pronounced "yo", as in "yo friend". Can you explain this when you get a chance plz? Thanks.
mersenneprimes 5 years 2 months ago
Hi. I just checked out the pinyin table on this website. Unfortunately, I have to say the "io" information is wrong there. There is no such a vowel in Mandarin Chinese. You can google "pinyin chart" and see many sites with a pinyin chart and "io" should not be there. By the way, in Chinese, there's no "yo" for pinyin spelling. For the English sound "yo“ as in "Yoyo Chinese", the Chinese pinyin spelling should be "you" instead. It's very different from English. I hope this clears your confusion.
Yoyo Chinese Development 5 years 2 months ago
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