14. Finals with Nasals -n and -ng

By this point, you have no doubt discovered that most syllables in Chinese end in a vowel sound. There are only two consonant sounds that can complete a syllable. These are the two nasal sounds “n” and “ng.” In this lesson, we are going to focus on hearing the distinction between these two sounds

Let’s start by listening to a few examples.

Character and PinyinEnglish Equivalent
class/group
help
heel
porridge, gruel
gold
perfect
poor
complete
boat
bed

Can you hear the difference between “n” and “ng?”

The “n” is similar to an “n” at the end of a word in English. Although there are two letters in “ng,” this spelling represents only one sound, a velar nasal sound pronounced at the back of the mouth. The pronunciation of this sound is similar to that of its English equivalent.

Here are some additional examples:

Character and PinyinEnglish Equivalent
to long for
fat
egg
to sway; to rock
coal
scalding
south
bag; sack
blue
wolf
meal
granary
to stand
swollen
to produce
field
mountain
to wound
to burn
pulp of fruit
sweet
steel
to see
to resist
to divide
wind
forest
Buddhist monk
guest
ice
frequency
calm; flat; peaceful
people (of a country/society)
bright; clear; Ming Dynasty
heart
star

Listening Quiz

Dictation Quiz

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