During the development and evolution of Pinyin, there are as many as thirty-five (or even dated back to thirty-nine) finals, which is different from the twenty-four finals commonly used today.

But here we might as well give a brief introduction to help you understand those outdated sayings about the Pinyin system. Even though they are not used to teach the general public, they are more precise and complete for linguists.

For the very first Pinyin design, the “finals” are composed of several phonemes, which include vowels (main vowels), rhymes (also known as mediators), and finals. For example, in the syllable of guan (官), 〔g〕is the initials and 〔uan〕is “finals”. In the finals [uan], [u] is the vowels, [a] is the rhyme, and [n] is the finals. According to the rigorous analysis of finals used in Mandarin, there should be 39 finals, which can be divided into single finals, compound finals, and nasal finals according to the structure.

The critical character of simple finals is that mouth is maintained in the same shape from beginning to end, and the tongue does not move. There are ten simple finals in Mandarin: a, o, e, i, u, ü, ê, -i (before), -i (after) er.

Among them, ê, -i (before), and -i (after) are not commonly used because of the small number of words, so there is no formal use of English letters for pinyin. (Instead, we have unique type finals such as zhi, see Advanced Tip 2.3) And er (for example 儿、二、而) is a particular vowel, it stands alone and will not combine with any Initial and was grouped as group 2 of finals.

Therefore, four finals are removed, and there are 36 finals.

The finals formed by the combination of two or three vowels are called compound finals. There are 13 compound finals in Mandarin: ai、ei、ao、ou、ia、ie、uauo、 üe、iaoiouuaiuei. According to the location of the stressed vowels, the compound vowels can be divided into the front sounding compound finals (ai、ei、ao、ou), the back sounding compound finals (ia、ie、uauo、 üe) and the middle sounding compound finals (iaoiou<iu>uaiuei<ui>).

A final consisting of one or two vowels followed by a nasal consonant is called a nasal final. There are 16 nasal finals: an, ian, uan, üan, en, in, uen<un>, ün, ang, iang, uang, eng, ing, ueng, ong, iong.

The First eight are called Prenasal finals, and the second eight are Back nasal finals.

Among the 36 finals above, the red finals are now treated as a spelling process, not independent finals. We group them as group 6 in our final table, for you to practice them easily.

Blue finals: the spelling is simplified, the iou is iu, uei is ui, and uen is un.

In our Pinyin Table,

group 1 finals are simple finals (6)

group 2 finals are compound finals, including ER (9)

group 3 finals are nasal finals (9)

These 24 finals are basic finals.

group 6 all above red finals, there are 11 finals, but we do not include üan as it is in unique finals as yuan (it is actually üan, not uan).

Another exception is the ü’s cap removal rule (removal of the two dots over ü and let it become u). The original pinyin design schemes have u and ü. ü is not an English alphabet and is inconvenient to write. There are not many initials that can be combined with ü, only n, l, j, q, x plus the semi-initial y, and only the initials n and l can be combined with u, so when n, l and ü are connected, two dots cannot be removed. For keyboarding convenience, we will use nv, lv instead of nü, lü. However, two dots can be omitted when ü and j q x y are spelled together, but they must be pronounced ü, not u.

This decap rule is part of the lacking of digital world development; if the designer is deciding as of today, they might not use this confusing shortcut.

In sum, nv(女), lv(驴):

ju(据) , qu(取), xu(许), yu(于) they are all ü(魚).