Chinese Pinyin

Difference between G, K, H Sound: Chinese Pinyin Pronunciation Practice

The Killer Trio Part I: Difference between G, K, H Sound

I wish I could give all Chinese 4 Tones for G, K, H sound, but that is not possible. Many tones are missing or do not exist as Chinese words. Therefore, I could only provide a single tone from each G, K, H sound.

In this listening and Pinyin pronunciation practice, I provide as many sounds as possible in different tones. If you have arrived here from the previous post of Differentiating between B, P, D, T Sound and the G and K sound has the same concept of keeping and releasing the air.

Difference between G and K Sound

When pronouncing Chinese words with G sound, do not release too much air. On the contrary, with the K sound, force out the air when you read the words. The method is to place your palm in front of your mouth. If you pronounce the G sound correctly, there should be no air on your palm. For the K, you must feel a burst of air coming out.

Pronouncing the H Consonant

The H sound has a release of air too. You pronounce it like the English alphabet H, akin to ‘her’ and ‘ha’. It is easy to get this intonation correct. When you place the G, K, H sound together, it is more challenging to differentiate them. Nevertheless, with more Pinyin pronunciation practice, you will master it effortlessly. If you have a problem to hear the difference between G, K, H sound, turn up the volume.






The vowel ‘ang’ is a nasal vowel. It is rather similar to the English word ‘angst’, without pronouncing the ‘st’.




In most instances except Chinese consonants b, f, m and p  [ bo fo mo fo ], the rest of the consonants do not have the vowel ‘o’ in them. Thus, there is no Chinese Pinyin and character with “Go”. We use [ ou ] to replace ‘o’.

Pronounce [ ou ] like the English alphabet ‘O’.


Here is another nasal sound ‘ong’.



In this group of sound with ‘uan’, pronounce it like the English word “want”. Imagine the pronunciation to be Gwant, Kwant, Hwant. Other similar Chinese words which you can pronounce it with a “want” sound are ‘Cuan, Duan, Luan, Nuan, Ruan, Suan, Tuan and Zuan’.

Another group of ‘uan’ sounds below cannot be pronounced with the “want” sound. Instead, they bear the resemblance sound of the Pinyin “Yuan” because they derive from the word ‘üan’. ü contains the ‘yu’ sound. They have a sound closer (but not exactly) to the English word (Japanese) ‘Yen’. This group of Chinese Pinyin is ‘Juan, Quan, Xuan and Yuan’.






Next Pinyin Pronunciation Practice

Killer Trio Part II: Difference between J, Q and X Sound. How to pronounce them with the right positioning of the mouth shape?


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