Thursday, 21 November 2019, 06:10

Pronunciation

Tones    

There are four full tones in Mandarin pronunciation, and one neutral tone. Let's read out the vowel a and Pin Yin ma in the five tones.

First tone

Second tone

Third tone

Fourth tone

Neutral tone

Flat

Up

Turn

Down

Soft

a


 

m

m

m

m

ma

 

  • The first tone is marked as a straight line "". It has a long and sustained sound (as if singing a note).
  • The second tone is marked upwards like this "" . It is a rising tone (start from the lower part of your voice, then go up).
  • The third tone is marked down and up like this "V". It is a low and curved tone. Try to go as low as you can and then bounce up.
  • The fourth tone is marked downwards like this "". It is a falling tone (start from the grating highest part of your voice, then go down, as if exclaiming).
  • The neutral tone has no mark. It is a short and light tone.

Tones should be marked on a vowel. If a word has more than one vowel, the tone should be marked on the main vowel of the word. Vowels are listed in the following order: a, o, e, i, u and . As the vowel a appears first in this list, the tone in the word "niao" should be marked on the vowel a.

The tones are indicated by numbers in the following groups. Let's mark them on the correct vowels. You can check your answers by clicking on the groups.

Exercise

liao2

kuai4

zui4

xiu3

yue4

fei2

nie1

le4

gei3

hua1

 

Let's read the four tones together to tell out the difference between them.

              

m m m m

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London Kids Chinese Club