Learning Mandarin: The silent i

Awesome image by Kristina Flour

I recently wrote a short series on pinyin, starting with this previous post, and today I want to just mention one of the common exceptions, and that's the silent letter i.

In the following words, the i sound is pretty much silent:

(Chī) which means to eat
(Cì) which means a number of times or an order/sequence
(Rì) which means day
(Shì) which means is or yes
(Sì) which is the number four
(Zì) which means a word
(Zhǐ) which means only

Now there are other variants of the above sounds as well but they're the same pinyin letters. For example: (Sǐ) which means death (and it's because it sounds a bit like the number four, that four is considered unlucky). Same for (Zi) which relates to a child.

Learning Mandarin

I'll write more soon on the best methods for learning Mandarin. If you want to get a taste for it in the meantime though, my current favorite site is iTalki, and my favorite teacher by far is Amy He. If you decide to try it, click here and it's cheaper for both you and me.

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