Learn 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).

ToneStress MarkExample of Pin Yin
1st¯¯
2nd/
3rdV
4th\
neutral ma
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.

1st1st1st2nd1st3rd1st4th1stneutral
cānjiā

xīngqī
jiātng

gōngyun
fāngfǎ

shēntǐ
bāngzh

xūyo
yīfu

zhīdao

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.


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