Pinyin 拼音

7. Compound Vowels ian, iang, iao


We have learned finals which are single vowels a, o, e, i, u, ü. Now we start to learn finals with "compound vowels". These vowels are formed by one of the six single vowels and other letters. In this lesson we will learn ian, iang, iao and common Chinese characters whose pinyin are based on these finals. These are finals "an, ang, ao" with an "i" in the front. The pronunciation is simple: adding "yee" sound before them. In detail, below are the basic pronunciation rules:
  • ian - it is "yee-an"; like English yen. If no initial, it is written as "yan".
  • iang - it is "yee-ang". Similar to English "young". If no initials, it is written as "yang"
  • iao - it is "yee-ao". If no initials, it is written as "yao" (e.g. basketball star "Yao Min")

Click to each pinyin below to listen to its sound and say it as close as you can. Pay attention to tones.

  biān    biǎn  biàn              biāo    biǎo  biào  
  diān    diǎn  diàn              diāo      diào  
  jiān    jiǎn  jiàn    jiāng    jiǎng  jiàng    jiāo  jiáo  jiǎo  jiào  
    lián  liǎn  liàn      liáng  liǎng  liàng      liáo  liǎo  liào  
    mián  miǎn  miàn              miāo  miáo  miǎo  miào  
  niān  nián  niǎn  niàn      niáng    niàng        niǎo  niào  
  piān  pián  piǎn  piàn              piāo  piáo  piǎo  piào  
  qiān  qián  qiǎn  qiàn    qiāng  qiáng  qiǎng  qiàng    qiāo  qiáo  qiǎo  qiào  
  tiān  tián  tiǎn  tiàn              tiāo  tiáo  tiǎo  tiào  
  xiān  xián  xiǎn  xiàn    xiāng  xiáng  xiǎng  xiàng    xiāo  xiáo  xiǎo  xiào