How to pronounce [ɑ]:
Open your mouth wide and relax your tongue in its lowest place. The sound of [ɑ] is pronounced like “ah” in English, as the sound you might make when the doctor examines your tonsils.
How to pronounce [e]:
Open your mouth half but unrounded; put your tongue in a mid-high position and slightly rearward. The sound of [e] sounds like the “e” in English the word “her”.
How to pronounce [i]:
Narrow your mouth and pull your lips back; put your tongue in a high position and slightly towards the front without touching the hard palate. The sound of [i] is similar to the “ea” in the English word “weak”.
The Similarity:[ɑ] [e] and [i] are the most basic finals among Chinese Pinyin besides [o] [u] and [ü] which will be covered below.
Lips’ shape: [ɑ] [e] and [i] are all unrounded.
- The opening of mouth is getting smaller in this order: [ɑ]＞[e]＞[i].
- The height of tongue is getting lower in this order: [i]＞[e]＞[ɑ].