Chinese Words With 3 Or More Pronunciations!?

Did you know that in Chinese, some words look exactly the same but have completely different pronunciations? Today, we'll look at 10 Chinese words with 3 or more pronunciations. What do the different pronunciations mean?


If you want to hear these words, make sure to watch our video below!


1. 抹

: This means 'to wipe'. For example, 抹布 (mā bù) Dish towel.

: This means 'to smear'. For example, 涂抹 (tú mǒ) To apply (a product onto the skin).

: This means 'to go round'. For example, 拐弯抹角 (guǎi wān mò jiǎo) To beat around the bush.


2. 哄

hōng: This means 'to spread'. For example, 哄动 (hōng dòng) To cause a stir

hǒng: This means 'to coax'. For example, 哄人 (hǒng rén) To coax someone

hòng: This means 'uproar'. For example, 起哄 (qǐ hòng) To boo


3. 累

léi: This means 'burden'. For example, 累赘 (léi zhui) Burden / Cumbersome

lěi: This means 'to accumulate'. For example, 积累 (jī lěi) To accumulate / Compound

lèi: This means 'tired'. For example, 劳累 (láo lèi) Tired


4. 折

zhē: This means 'turn over'. For example, 折腾 (zhē teng) Get down

zhé: This means 'to cut'. For example, 打折 (dǎ zhé) To be on sale

shé: This means 'loss'. For example, 亏折 (kuī shé) Loss


5. 扎

: This means 'to tie'. For example, 捆扎 (kǔn zā) To strap

zhā: This means 'to stick into'. For example, 扎破 (zhā pò) To pierce

zhá: This means 'to struggle'. For example, 挣扎 (zhēng zhá) To struggle


6. 薄

báo: This means 'thin'. For example, 薄饼 (báo bǐng) Pancake

: This means 'to be not kind'. For example, 刻薄 (kè bó) Harsh

: This means 'Mint'. For example, 薄荷 (bò he) Peppermint


7. 强

qiáng: This means 'strong'. For example, 强求 (qiáng qiú) By force

qiǎng: This means 'To force'. For example, 勉强 (miǎn qiǎng) Reluctantly / Barely

jiàng: This means 'Stiff'. For example, 倔强 (jué jiàng) Stubborn


8. 单

dān: This means 'single'. For example, 单身 (dān shēn) To be single

chán: This is part of a title used in the Han dynasty. For example, 单于 (chán yú) Chief

shàn: This is a surname. For example, 单县 (shàn xiàn) Shan country in the Shandong province of China


9. 漂

piāo: This means 'To drift'. For example, 漂流 (piāo liú) To drift

piǎo: This means 'To bleach' For example, 漂白 (piǎo bái) To bleach

piào: This means 'Elegant' For example, 漂亮 (piào liang) Beautiful


10. 差

chā: This means 'difference'. For example, 差距 (chā jù) Gap

: This means 'uneven'. For example, 参差 (cēn cī) Uneven

chāi: This means 'job'. For example, 出差 (chū chāi) Business trip

chà: This means 'bad'. For example, 很差 (hěn chà) Very bad


Watch the lesson here:

We hope that you enjoyed this lesson!



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