Tone Lesson 15 – Final Review: Tone Groups & Sentences

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So far we've finished everything we need to know about Mandarin Chinese Tones. We've practiced all Four Tones, the Neutral Tones, and a lot of Tone Change Rules. Today we will try to mix everything up, and do a final review. We'll be practicing with Tone Groups and sentences! Ready? Let's go!

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How to Sound Native When Speaking Chinese

We already know that in Chinese, each of the Four Tones follows their own pitch range. But when people speak in real life, they range is not as strict as it could be. It is more soften and relaxed. If we put the Four Tones together, the theoretical vs. real-life pronunciation will be like this:


Theoretical Pronunciation:
Each Tone clear and strict

In this Mandarin Tone Trainer Video we'll do a final review of all Four Tones, the Neutral Tone and other Tone Change Rules. Let's watch and practice!


Real-life Pronunciation:
Tones soften and changed

In this Mandarin Tone Trainer Video we'll do a final review of all Four Tones, the Neutral Tone and other Tone Change Rules. Let's watch and practice!

Mandarin Tone Trainer: Final Review

Please watch the video and practice the following Tone exercises.



Please be careful that the Third Tones in the following Tone Groups are pronounced in the Half Third Tone.


xī qí gǔ guài 稀奇古怪
xīn zhí kǒu kuài 心直口快
shān méng hǎi shì 山盟海誓
suān tián kǔ là 酸甜苦辣



shòu bǐ nán shān 寿比南山
nòng jiǎ chéng zhēn 弄假成真
guò yǎn yún yān 过眼云烟
fù shuǐ nán shōu 覆水难收





Please pay attention to the Neutral Tone and the Tone change of character Bu 不.

 bù shuō bú dài biǎo bù zhī dào 'a
Not saying doesn't mean not knowing.


nǐ mā ma bú huì bù lai de
Your mom is not going to not come.


 tā bù yí dìng bú zài jiā ba
He is not necessarily not at home.



Please pay attention to the Two Fourth Tones combination and the Tone of the character Yi 一.

 zhè shì yí jiàn zhòng yào de shì
This is an important matter.


tā yì zǎo jiù zài xiě zuò yè
He started doing homework early in the morning.


nǐ shàng kè yì zhí zài shuì jiào
You were sleeping the whole time of the class.
Collapse Comments
bentoPremium Student April 27, 2024 at 5:48 am

If we don’t know the real word of yidali and yilake, the tone was the same tone for my ears. But in video those words different tones when speaking.

Edward CownePremium Student May 31, 2023 at 2:54 pm

Big jump in difficulty with these sentences. It’s difficult to speak so quickly at this early stage

MX5NC2Premium Student January 13, 2023 at 5:00 am

Why in “italy” Yi (4) Da (4) Li (4) is the “Yi” in 4th tone? I thought Yi (if not a mathematical Yi) becomes 2nd tone if followed by a 4th tone?

ChineseFor.UsAcademic Team January 29, 2023 at 11:19 am

The yi in Italy is a different character than the “number one” yi.

urshurakPremium Student March 23, 2022 at 4:24 am

This lesson is the most difficult for me. I don’t have problems with the tones or syllables, but to combine them into sentences is a whole different story.

ky4ttoPremium Student December 3, 2021 at 11:10 am

I got almost all the ones at the end wrong but really I’m just trying to work through all these courses and then come back to them to reference as I need to. I know I’ll get the hang of it the more I practice…

Mathieu BoudreauPremium Student January 30, 2021 at 9:02 pm

This lesson was 10x more challenging than any other lessons.

michael_12317Premium Student March 10, 2018 at 12:33 pm

This class was very helpful for me to understand more about the theory of Chinese tones and their changes in certain situations. When you are speaking syllables slowly, I mostly get the tones right and also don’t have so much trouble to pronounce single words slowly. But when you’re going to speak in a normal speaking speed I start to confuse tones and have trouble recognizing the tones for sure. I have also really trouble to pronounce whole sentences. I am super slow and pronounce the tones exaggerated but when I try to speak a pinch more fluently, faster, I have trouble to keep the pronunciation of the tones clearly.

I’d appreciate listening exercises of whole sentences in normal speaking speed, without given tones, in which must be decided for every syllable if it’s 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or any of the “half” tones. I definitely need more listening practice.

david.rappoPremium Student March 7, 2019 at 1:35 am

I would expect the HSK Level 1 and HSK Level 2 courses to include many example conversations with English/pinyin/Chinese transcripts.

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