I tend to see it a lot in text books and guides: 唱歌/唱歌儿 事/事儿 But it's always listed as optional, so what's the deal with it?

  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erhua
    – user6065
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 14:30
  • used to adjust rhythm of pronunciations of a statement (i.e. tones, speed), to save efforts, weaken non-important words. when we has a long speech, lecture, we need adjust rhythm of statements, i.e. avoid keeping your mouth opening for a long period, let's change to pronounce a word with half-open mouth. Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 1:34

2 Answers 2


Adding the 儿 to the end of a word is known as 儿化 (er2hua4). Whether or not you use the 儿 really just comes down to regional accents/dialects, but the meaning of the word is unchanged. Generally speaking, northern mandarin dialects use the erhua more than southern ones; in some regions you'll almost never hear anyone use the erhua in speech.

There are some words where the added erhua changes the word's meaning, but these are usually regional/colloquial terms, such as 天儿, which means the same as 天气, not 天.


Erhua might differ in various dialects. Below I use Beijing dialect for example:

Erhua is hard to master, even for me(native southern Chinese). Sometimes I think it's unnecessary because the even the local might be wrong, but the wrong could be the right if everyone uses the wrong way.

  1. Meaning Difference. Put a 儿 after a word could have different meaning:

「宝贝」和「宝贝儿」: the First one normally mean a precious item, the later one usually mean close people, like lover.

「汆」和「汆儿」: the First one mean a way to cook; 「汆儿」 usual means the marinade for dry noodle b.

  1. Part of speech Difference:

Verb -> Noun

托 → 托儿 | 乐 → 乐儿 | 约会 → 约会儿

Adjective -> Noun

 亮 → 亮儿 | 空 → 空儿 | 好 → 好儿

Verb-> Demonstrative

   下 → 下儿 | 摊 → 摊儿 | 拨 → 拨儿

Noun ->Demonstrative

 门 → 门儿 | 桌 → 桌儿 | 道 → 道儿


  1. Show Emotion

a. Positive

命 → 小命儿 | 灯笼 → 小灯笼儿 | 剪子 → 小剪子儿 | 镜子 → 小镜子儿 |发小 → 发小儿 | 家雀 → 家雀儿 | 心肝 → 心肝儿

b. Negative

光棍 → 光棍儿 | 小偷 → 小偷儿 | 傻冒 → 傻冒儿 | 白丁 → 白丁儿 

Bad place or bad thing, like "Death死", there are several saying to 玩儿完了|蹬腿儿了|翻白眼儿了|嗝儿屁了|嗝儿了|
  • 很好的回答!三天前有了相似的问题。 我觉得,如果在你写的用‘儿’, 例如‘仔儿’或‘滚儿’然后人看你写的,这就是普通话。在北京花里人看’仔‘会说’zar‘看’滚‘会说’guar‘。什么‘儿’都没有!他们的方言改编了拼音。你怎么看法?
    – Pedroski
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 22:47
  • @Pedroski Firstly, Mandarin is based on "Beijing Dialect". That's why Mandarin shares similarities with "Beijing Dialect". Pinyin is a standard system for official usage. And 北京话里的仔actually is zai-er. Just like "they are" and "they're"
    – Kevman
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 23:01

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