Tones

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).

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

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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.

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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).

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aThe neutral tone has no mark.  It is a short and light tone.

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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.

 

Exercise

liao2    

kua1 

zui4   \

xiu3   V

yue4  \

fei2     

nie1   

lüe4   \

gei3  V

hua1