Learn Chinese Tones Lesson 2


This is the second of five free lessons about Mandarin Chinese tones.

Lesson 2
Combinations of Tones?

As you already know, Chinese is a monosyllabic language. Anyway, the majority of Chinese words are composed of two characters, that is two syllables.

While in Lesson 1 you learned how to pronounce single characters with the correct tone, now please pay attention to how two characters are pronounced together. In this lesson you are going to learn how to pronounce with the correct tones about one fourth of all Chinese words!

The Neutral Tone

The pronunciation of the neutral tone must be short and weak. It's used when pronouncing a few single-character words and at the end of a lot of two-characters words.



Stress Marks

Chinese dictionaries use four different stress marks to indicate the character's tone (there's no stress mark for the neutral tone).

Tone
1st
Stress Mark
¯¯
Example of Pin Yin
Tone
2nd
Stress Mark
/
Example of Pin Yin
Tone
3rd
Stress Mark
V
Example of Pin Yin
Tone
4th
Stress Mark
\
Example of Pin Yin
Tone
neutral
Stress Mark
Example of Pin Yin

All five "ma" together


So, let's start with your first 5 combinations of tones: first-first, first-second, first-third, first-fourth and first-neutral.


Words Starting With The First Tone

Please save the following mp3 files on your computer.

The meaning of what you say is not important now. Please concentrate only on the sounds and try to repeat them with the same pitch variation. Click here for lesson 3 on Chinese tones.

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