For example, ne and are words. But there are no , , or . I tried to Google this but I don't find any references to it. It's obviously not by final, because , , and all exist. Is there a rule?

  • for all 6,763 GB2312 characters this can be checked, by entering pinyin w/o tone mark in 小马词典 , e.g. ru does not occur with 1st tone. (is answer to this question of any value to students of Chinese?)
    – user6065
    Commented Jul 28, 2018 at 2:28
  • @user6065 Not all initials go with all finals. That is useful to know when you are learning characters. If some also don't take certain tones, that could be good to know if there is a pattern rather than a long list. Commented Jul 28, 2018 at 2:41

2 Answers 2


There’s no rule as to what tones can be used with which pronunciations but there is a finite list of words & pronunciations in MSM (Modern Standard Mandarin).

When you start getting into Chinese dialects and topolects any pronunciation is possible.


Just as a side note né can be found in 哪吒 (Nézhā) the name of a deity.


No,There are some rules in the relation between tones ans syllables which put restriction on which syllable may occur in which tone, for instance, you can not find "man" with the tone "55" or the first tone, but they are developed from ancient Chinese and complex, almost no one is interested in those rules.

  • 1
    I agree that there are such rules, but they are not useful for learners of modern Mandarin Chinese; they are much more useful however for students of Classical Chinese (especially Middle Chinese and how it becomes modern Chinese varieties).
    – Michaelyus
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 14:41

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