Pinyin Lesson 2 – Initials: b p m f

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Chinese Pinyin Initials: b p m f

In this Pinyin video lesson we will learn four Chinese Pinyin Initials b p m f. The four of them are not difficult to pronounce as a Pinyin beginner. And if you stick with our pronunciation tips, practice all the Pinyin Syllables Drills in this video, you can work your way towards perfect Pinyin pronunciation!



  • Pinyin Initials
    • b
    • p
    • m
    • f


Chinese Pinyin Initials

For b p m f, both of your upper and lower lips are the Active Articulators, which is the main organ involved when you make the sound. If you try to say b p m f you’ll notice that your lips are the active parts in making the sound.





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Can the inititals b,p,m,f have an final sound?

Krystle RagsdalePremium Student September 26, 2023 at 12:33 pm

Hi! Whenever I pronounce “b” and “p”, although they are voiceless initials I can still feel a vibration at the beginning when I pronounce them with a final. Am I pronouncing it wrong?

Darren ChayPremium Student September 22, 2023 at 11:08 pm

Love this website. Love the pacing and instructions per video which allows me time to learn it. Somehow with this I feel I could speak, read and write properly in Chinese!

TsingMingPremium Student August 30, 2023 at 10:18 pm

What do you get if you are registered as a paid student and the price please? We just started and liked your approach, very clear indeed. Is there extra homework for review purpose? So far we saw only the quizzes Hopefully there is more material to enforce the lessons. Many thanks. Tsing

Ali ZahidPremium Student July 23, 2023 at 5:53 am

So when we write
b p m f
they are actually short form of
bo po mo fo
because b p m f never come without a final?

i still confused between (b&p)

nour-eddine kassemStudent November 23, 2022 at 2:44 pm

Does B sound like P?

I would like to subscribe all the leasons but i don’t have paypalor bank account to pay the subscription fee, only gcash..

EdOPremium Student June 5, 2022 at 11:23 am

I have severe high frequency hearing loss so, even with hearing aides, this is a tough go. It’s going to take me awhile longer than most folks, but I’ll get there.

Pili HdzPremium Student June 14, 2022 at 8:20 pm

Hi there, I have high frequency hearing loss too, I don’t use hearing aids anymore, but I’m able to tell the differences between certain sounds.
I would recommend to use ear/headphones in order to listen very carefully each sound. It’s not impossible, I speak 3 languages, and the only language I learnt when I was able to hear well, was my native tongue. Chinese is my 4th language to learn. At the beginning it could be frustrating, but with practice comes perfection.
I encourage you to keep it up. I could do it, you can do it too.

oh i need it very help

“b” and “p” sound Abit same, but i can’t know what is it and other

Allen CulbertsonGuest October 3, 2021 at 5:37 am

I would really love to learn Mandarin Chinese. There are many things I would love to learn in life, utilizing this system is fun it’s easy it’s educational. I love it! It actually brings a smile to my face and I enjoy utilizing it whenever I have time. God bless you and thank you for all your hard work. Your online classes are amazing..
Once again thank you from my heart.

I’m from Somalia, I’m want to learn the Chinese language, And I’m thankful for your help as a Bigger.

SimonePremium Student January 5, 2021 at 6:22 pm

I have a question. The pinyin drills are easy though I would want to know if I am doing the write pronunciation. Is there any way I can learn?
Xie Xie!

Roxanne CuPremium Student December 30, 2020 at 3:12 am

Very helpful indeed. At first, it looked like b and p; d and t; and g and k sound alike, but thanks for dissecting the lectures to tell the difference. This really helps both in speaking and listening skills. I am taking this very seriously considering that Mandarin is a tonal language. Thanks Lili Hao and Chuck.

Fonzie!Premium Student November 8, 2020 at 4:17 am

I have a question! Does the “b” sound in Chinese sound sharper than in English? As in, I feel like the “b” is closer to a “p” here than in English, is that normal or is that just how they’re pronounced here?

Antony LaoPremium Student December 12, 2020 at 4:17 pm

I’ve just arrived here ! for me it is as you said, the b is like the p in English

I’m trying to speak Chinese can you give me lessons?

AzzimkhanovPremium Student August 22, 2020 at 12:34 am

Hi there. I am new here and I have a question related to pronunciation drills. does learning chinese pronunciation affect my english pronunciation (I mean after acquiring chinese pronunciation will I pronounce English words with chinese accent?

AleVenPremium Student September 5, 2020 at 12:31 am

No you won’t. Like for example the vowels in Chinese are similar to Spanish and I don’t confuse them when I speak English.

Prashna SubediGuest August 19, 2020 at 9:04 am

I am too confused in p,b and f now it is totally cleared ……a lot of love and thank for you from your neighbour country Nepal to teach us so perfectly

MiyaPremium Student August 15, 2020 at 11:29 am

I was really having a hard time with the pronunciation of ü and now I am ahead of my class. 谢谢你

不客气!I’m, really happy that it was helpful for you!

MiyaPremium Student August 19, 2020 at 2:34 pm

That fact that I know those symbols mean bù kè qi meaning welcome. Is shocking even to me, I can’t belive I am really learning.

David RodriguezPremium Student July 7, 2020 at 10:38 pm

I am having an issue determining if I am voicing the ‘b’, even when feeling my vocal chords. To my ears it sounds right, but it’s not as defined as the ‘p’ sound, so it is difficult to know for sure. Is there a drill or some other resource so that I can get a better sense of if I am speaking correctly?

ConorBearyPremium Student April 2, 2020 at 10:55 pm

I’m really interested in studying Chinese, mainly to be able to make friends and potentially explore new business opportunities. I’m really enjoying the emphasis placed on building a solid foundation here!

Dan FilimonPremium Student March 27, 2020 at 6:18 pm

I find it very entertaining to play around saying these and the tips to touch your vocal chords or put your hand in front of your mouth really help explain how to pronounce them properly. Thank you!

Corbin TolenPremium Student May 31, 2020 at 12:56 am

Wow that is a great tip putting your hand in front of your mouth to hear more acute as to how you’re pronouncing, thank you!

ApplePieGiraffePremium Student May 29, 2019 at 1:12 am

You know going through this lesson almost makes me feel like I’m in kindergarten again. It’s kind of funny learning to pronounce letters that are virtually the same in English, and if you’re watching these lessons you must already understand English, so… um, good work on being thorough, I guess. 😉

Odair Da silvaPremium Student August 23, 2019 at 3:35 pm

I told my wife the same thing LMAO

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