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In this Pinyin Lesson, we learn how to pronounce four initials, which are b, p, m, f. We also learn some Chinese characters that use "b, p, m, f". In addition you can have tone drill and quiz on b, p, m, f.

Initials

Initials are called 声母 in simplified Chinese (pinyin: shēngmǔ). There are 21 initials excluding y and w.

The conventional order is:
b, p, m, f; d, t, ,n, l; g, k, h; j, q, x; zh, ch, sh, r; z, c, s

Pronunciation Guide

The letters b, d, and g are really the un-aspirated versions of p, t, and k. This means that they are pronounced in the way the letters p, t, and k are pronounced after the letter s (as in spy, sty, and sky).

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. b: as the p in “spay”, or b in “bay”.

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2. p: as p in put, but with a stronger aspiration.
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3. m: as m in “may”.
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4. f: as f in “five”.
Play

Example Words

Example 1:Chinese Character: 波
Pinyin: bō
Play

English translation: wave
wave
Example 2:

Chinese Character: 坡
Pinyin: pō

Play

English translation: Slope
slope
Example 3:Chinese Character: 摸
Pinyin: mō
Play

English translation: Touch
touch
Example 4:Chinese Character: 佛
Pinyin: fó
Play

English translation: Buddha
Buddha

Exercises:

Exercise 1: Tone Drill

Listen to the audio first, and then repeat.

1. bā bá bǎ bà

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2. pā pá pǎ pà
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3. mā má mǎ mà
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4. fā fá fǎ fà
Play

Listening Quiz (3)

Choose the right answer after you listen to the audio.
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If you are interested in learning Chinese, please take a look at the Free Chinese Lessons that are practical and fun.

2 Responses to “Learn Chinese Pinyin in 21 Days – Day 3: Initials, b, p, m, f”

  1. aihua

    aihua

    Hi zakuan,
    I just confirmed that no problem was found on “m”‘s sound. Please try again.

    Reply

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