words beginning with ye-

I'm having trouble seeing the difference between the e stroke and the small loop that represents ye (in Simplified). Am I right in believing “year” and “yesterday” begin with e, while “yes” and “yeast” begin with the ye loop?

In yo- words like yacht, yoga, yolk (in the Simplified dictionary) the first stroke looks very elliptical like the ye- loop but according to theory it must be the e stroke. “Before o and oo, y is expressed by the small circle, as y is pronounced e.” Is it just really hard to make the e perfectly round when you're writing e-o?

It seems like it would be hard to make this distinction when writing at speed.

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