Pinyin Basics


  • Pin means spelling
  • Yin means Pronunciation


There are 23 Initial Consonants, 24 Finals, 16 Syllables Pronounced as a whole and 5 Tones in Pinyin.

23 Initial Consonants
24 Finals (Vowels)
16 Overall recognized syllables
5 Tones

Initial Consonants

There are 23 Initial Consonants in Pinyin.
The pronunciation of an initial consonant is very short.

Let's have a glance at all initial consonants in PinYin:

PinYin - Initials Table

Learn pinyin initial consonants in one page

Pinyin Lessons - initial consonants:

Listen & Read


PinYin Final:Simple or compound vowel (of a Chinese syllable), sometimes with a terminal [n] or [ng]

6 Simple Finals
8 Compound Finals
9 Nasal Finals
1 Special Final

Let's have a glance at all finals in PinYin:

PinYin - Finals Table

Learn pinyin finals in one page

Pinyin Lessons - Simple Finals:

Pinyin Lessons - Compound Finals:

Pinyin Lessons - Nasal Finals:

Pinyin Lessons - Special Finals:

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Overall recognized syllables

All syllables Pronounced as a whole

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Tones in Pinyin

There are four tones in the Chinese Pinyin scheme, namely Yin Ping (the first tone), Yang Ping (the second tone), Shang Sheng (the third tone) and Qu Sheng (the fourth tone).
In addition,there's also a fifth tone,the neutral tone (named light tone in pinyin), unstressed syllable pronounced without its original pitch in Chinese pronunciation

  • 1st tone
  • 2nd tone
  • 3rd tone
  • 4th tone