There are four full tones in Mandarin pronunciation, and one neutral tone. Lets read out the vowel “a” in the four tones.

ā The first tone is marked as a straight line "". It has a long and sustained sound (as if singing a note).


áThe second tone is marked upwards like this   " . It is a rising tone (start from the lower part of your voice, then go up).


ăThe 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.


àThe 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).


aThe 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 ü. As the vowel a appears first in this list, the tone in the word liao  should be marked on the vowel a  

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





zui4   \

xiu3   V

yue4  \



lüe4   \

gei3  V