Affricates are consonants that are said with a stop with a fricative immediately afterwards. For example, the 'ch' sound in English (written as /t͡ʃ/ in IPA) is said with an 't' (/t/) sound with an 'sh' (/ʃ/) sound immediately afterwards. Both voiced and voiceless affricates exist; in English, they are /d͡ʒ/ (the 'j' sound) and t͡ʃ (the 'ch' sound) respectively.
|Voicing||IPA||Often written as letter(s)...||Sample word in English||Sample word in IPA|
In Mandarin Chinese, affricates are told apart by aspiration, or breathiness, since voiced affricates do not exist; aspirated affricates, or breathy affricates, are /t͡ɕʰ/ (written as 'q' in Hanyu Pinyin), /t͡sʰ/ ('c'), and /ʈ͡ʂʰ/ ('ch'), and unaspirated affricates, or non-breathy affricates, are /t͡ɕ/ ('j'), /t͡s/ ('z'), and /ʈ͡ʂ/ ('zh').
|Aspiration||Pinyin||IPA||Sample Chinese word||Word meaning|
|Aspirated||ch-||/ʈ͡ʂʰ/||炒 chǎo||to fry|
|c-||/t͡sʰ/||草 cǎo||grass / straw|
|Unaspirtated||zh-||/ʈ͡ʂ/||zhào 找||to look for / to seek|
|j-||/t͡ɕ/||jiào 叫||to call (oneself)|