Learn Chinese Tones Lesson 4

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

Lesson 4:
Words Starting With The Third Tone

Lesson 4
Words Starting With The Third Tone

You are going to learn how to pronounce the third group of Chinese words, the ones starting with the third tone.

Anyway, first you need to pay close attention to the following important pronunciation rules:


Third Tone Changes Into Second Tone

When two 3rd tones are in succession, the first 3rd tone changes into 2nd tone:

3rd + 3rd changes into 2nd + 3rd

For example, nǐ hǎo (meaning: How do you do) is actually pronounced as ní hǎo.


3rd Tone Changes Into Half 3rd Tone

When a syllable in the 3rd tone precedes a syllable in the 1st, 2nd, 4th or, in most cases, before the neutral tone, it is pronounced in the half 3rd tone, that is, the tone only falls but doesn't rise, as in the chart below.

Half Third Tone

In the chart, the half 3rd tone is represented by the blue line (21, that is from level 2 to level 1);

the third tone is represented by the blue line plus the magenta line (214).

With that in mind, let's go on with our practical listen and repeat lesson.

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 5 on Chinese tones.

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