Pronunciation notes: Retroflex final “er”: “er” is also considered as a simple final as “a, o, e, i, u”. To form this sound, you should first get your mouth in the position for forming “e”, but with the middle front rather than the middle back part of the tongue raised. The other important difference is that the tip of the tongue must be raised and curl back over the tongue itself. This curling back is what is meant by “retroflex”. This final some what like “er” in American English “her”. The final “er” can stand by itself as a syllable. But it can also function as a suffix. When it became a suffix, it is spelt as “r”. For example: 玩(to play), can both be “wán” and “wánr”. Phonetically, what happens when “er” becomes suffix is that it drops its “e” and simply becomes “r”, and this “r” is hooked onto the syllable in question. When a syllable has a front nasal ending “n”, the “n” is dropped; when a syllable has a back ending “ng”, the “ng” fuses with “r” to form a nasalized vowel. Try the following syllables: a. èr shì'èr érzi értóng érhuà b. huār shìr niăor yìr màor yér c. wánr duănr diănr d. diànyĭngr diàndēngr This retroflex final is transcribed into character as 儿. Speech Patterns: 1. Place names 这儿，那儿: 1. 去我那儿吧。你那儿好吗？ 2. 他去谢京那儿看电视。 3. 这儿的经济很好。北京那儿好吗？ 4. 坐我这儿吧。 谢谢。 5. 你去哪儿找他？我去宿舍那儿找他。他也不在。 1. Qù wŏ nàr ba. Nĭ nàr hăo ma? 2. Tā qù Xiè Jīng nàr kàn diànshì. 3. Zhèr de jīngjì hĕn hăo. Bĕijīng nàr hăo ma? 4. Zuò wŏ zhèr ba. Xièxie. 5. Nĭ qù năr zhăo tā? Wŏ qù sùshè nàr zhăo tā. Tā yĕ bú zài. 1. Let’s go to my place. Is your place nice? 2. He went Xie jing’s place to watch TV. 3. The economy here is good. How is (it) in Beijing? 4. Take my seat (or: Sit next to me). Thank you. 5. Where did you go to look for him? I went the dorm to look for him. He is not there, either. 2. 在 as a verb: 1. 你妈妈也在这儿吗？她不在这儿，在台湾。 2. 你知道外语学院在哪儿吗？不知道。我们看地图吧。 3. 你的车在哪儿？不在这儿。在我哥哥那儿。 4. 你是哪国人？我是日本人。日本在亚洲吧？在。 5. 世海在吗？不在。他在宿舍。他的宿舍在哪儿？在经济学院。 1. Nĭ māma yĕ zài zhèr ma? Tā bú zài zhèr, zài Táiwān. 2. Nĭ zhīdao Wàiyŭ xuéyuàn zài năr ma? Bù zhīdao. Wŏmen kàn dìtú ba. 3. Nĭ de chē zài năr? Bú zài zhèr. Zài wŏ gēge nàr. 4. Nĭ shì năguó rén? Wŏ shì Rìbĕn rén. Rìbĕn zài Yàzhōu ba? Zài. 5. Shìhăi zài ma? Bú zài. Tā zài sùshè. Tā de sùshè zài năr? Zài Jīngjì xuéyuàn. 1. Is your mom also here? She is not here. (She) is in Taiwan. 2. Do you know where is the Foreign Languages Institute? No. Let’s check the map. 3. Where is your car? Not here. (It) is in my older brother’s place. 4. What is your nationality? I’m Japanese. Is Japan in Asia? Yes. 5. Is Shihai in? No. He is in the dorm. Where is his dorm? In the College of Economics.