- Also known as: erization, 儿化 (érhuà) and 儿化音 (érhuàyīn).
A Few Rules about Erhua
Erhua can be confusing to beginners because it's slightly more complicated than simply adding an "-r" sound to the end of a syllable.
- The character 儿 (ér) can be a syllable, as in the two-syllable word 儿子 (érzi), but erhua is not a syllable; it is pronounced as part of the syllable that it comes after
- When you add erhua to the end of a syllable ending in -n or -ng, you don't pronounce the -n or -ng (even though you still write it); you pronounce the final -r sound instead
- The vowel sound of a syllable may change slightly with the addition of the erhua (e.g. "shi + -r" may sound kind of like "shar")
- Erhua can be written as 儿, but it doesn't need to be written to be pronounced (e.g. a southerner will generally pronounce 花 as "huā", but a Beijinger will pronounce it as "huār")
Common Examples of Erhua
For a few select words, it is customary to write out the erhua using the character 儿:
For many other words, writing the 儿 is optional. Northerners will likely pronounce the following words with erhua, no matter whether it is written with or without the 儿.