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by & filed under Pinyin Course.

In this pinyin lesson, we learn three compound finals, which are ao, ou, iu. We also learn some Chinese characters that use "ao, ou, iu". In addition, you can get listening exercises and quizzes for ao, ou, iu.


Finals are all possible combinations of semivowels coming before the vowel, the nucleus vowel, and final vowel.
There are 14 compound finals (复韵母) and 14 nasal finals (鼻韵母).

Compound finals: ai, ei, ui; ao, ou, iu; ie, üe; er; ia, iao; ua, uo, uai
Nasal finals: an, en; in, un, ün; ang, eng, ing, ong; ian, iang, iong; uan, uang

Pronunciation Guide for ao, ou, iu

The final iu, is actually shortcut for iou.

The following guide is given in terms of English pronunciation. They are approximate, as there are some sounds of Pinyin do not correspond directly to sounds in English.

1. ao: as ow in “cow”.


2. ou: as oa in “boat”.

3. iu: as “you”.(To be more closer, just like saying the letters “EO” in English.)

Example Words

Example 1:

Chinese Character: 草
Pinyin: cǎo


English translation: grass

Example 2:

Chinese Character: 狗
Pinyin: gǒu


English translation: dog

Example 3:

Chinese Character: 牛
Pinyin: niú


English translation: ox

Exercises and Quiz:

The Exercises and Quiz are available for registered members.

If you are interested in learning Chinese, please take a look at the Free Chinese Lessons that are practical and fun.

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