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In this Pinyin Lesson, we learn initials, "y" and "w".

Initials y, w

The letters "y" and "w" are not included in the table of initials in the official pinyin system. They are an orthographic convention for "i", "u" and "ü" when no initial is present. When "i", "u" or "ü" are finals and no initial is present, they are spelled "yi", "wu", and "yu", respectively.

The letters "y" and "w" are called "half vowels" in Chinese, to make it simple and easier to use, I categorize them as initials here.

Pronunciation Guide for y, w

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. y: as y in “year”.

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2. w: as w in “wood”.
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Example Words

Example 1:Chinese Character: 爷
Pinyin: yé
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English translation: grandpa
grandpa

Example 2:

Chinese Character: 夜
Pinyin: yè

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English translation: night
night
Example 3:

Chinese Character: 舞
Pinyin: wǔ

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English translation: dance
dance
Example 4:

Chinese Character: 雾
Pinyin: wù

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English translation: fog
fog

Exercises:

Exercise 1: Tone Exercise
Listen to the audio first, and then repeat.

1. yā yá yǎ yà

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2. wā wá wǎ wà
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Listening Quiz (9)

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.

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