Mandarin Pinyin - Tones

5. Tones of Chinese Pinyin

Learning Highlight

In Mandarin Chinese, we have 4 tones, including:

  1. First Tone is a high-level pitch, it is high and flat, like singing a long high note.

  2. Second Tone is a rising tone, starts medium in tone, then rises to the top, like the word “Yes” in answering a question.

  3. Third Tone is low-dipping-rising tone, starts low, dips quickly to the bottom, then rises. It is usually described as a falling-rising tone.

  4. Fourth Tone is falling tone, starts at the top, then falls sharp and strong to the bottom, like an enthusiastic affirmation: “Yes”.

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