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Tone Lesson 2 – The First Tone with Tone Pair Drills

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CHINESE BASIC TONES: PRACTICE MANDARIN PINYIN FIRST TONE WITH TONE PAIRS

Starting from this lesson, we will be practicing the four Chinese Basic Tones. Today we will focus on the Mandarin Pinyin First Tone. We’ve designed more than enough of Mandarin Chinese Tone Pairs for you to practice and master the First Tone. By practicing different Chinese Tones in combination, you can speak in a natural continuous flow and sounds native.

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The Four Chinese Basic Tones

Speaking with the following Tones individually cannot be easier. The difficult part is speaking with different Chinese Tones in combination. That is why we'll be doing Tone Pairs drills and sentence drills in this video.

A video guide of Chinese Basic Tones: Practice Mandarin Chinese Tone Pairs and different Chinese Tones in combination to master Mandarin Pinyin First Tone.
The Four Chinese Basic Tones

 

Mandarin Pinyin First Tone

Mandarin Pinyin First Tone is called 一声 (yī shēng) in Chinese, literally meaning "the first sound". It starts high and maintain the same high pitch the whole process. So it sounds high and flat. That is why it is also known as "The High Level Tone".

A video guide of Chinese Basic Tones: Practice Mandarin Chinese Tone Pairs and different Chinese Tones in combination to master Mandarin Pinyin First Tone.
Mandarin Pinyin First Tone

 

Why Do We Practice With Mandarin Chinese Tone Pairs

In Chinese, the vast majority of words are 2-syllable words, which we could also call, 2-character words, 双音节词(shuāng yīn jié cí). Practicing Mandarin Chinese Tone pairs can prepare us well for speaking long sentences and having conversations. In today's lesson, we will be practicing the Mandarin Pinyin First Tone with many Mandarin Chinese Tone Pairs and a few sentences with different Chinese Tones in combination.

 

  PINYIN CHINESE ENGLISH
1-syllable Word I; me
2-syllable Word zhōng guó 中国 China
3-syllable Word qiǎo kè lì 巧克力 chocolate
4-syllable Word luó màn dì kè 罗曼蒂克 romantic

 

Mandarin Chinese Tone Pairs Pronunciation Tips

When we pronounce 2-syllable words, there is no long pause between the two syllables. When you speak with Mandarin Chinese Tone Pairs, speak both syllables in one single breath, using the rest of your breath to say the second syllable.Sometimes in a Chinese word, there can be 3, 4 or even more syllables. No matter how many Chinese tones in combination, we usually try to speak them with one single breath.

Mandarin Pinyin First Tone Pronunciation Drills

FIRST TONE + SECOND TONE

 

MANDARIN CHINESE TONE PAIRS
PINYIN CHINESE ENGLISH
zhōng guó 中国 China
zhōng wén 中文 Chinese
bāng máng  帮忙  to help 
kōng tiáo  空调  air conditioner
gōng yuán 公园 park 
SENTENCE
zhōng guó rén shuō zhōng wén
中国人说中文。
Chinese people speak Chinese.

FIRST TONE + THIRD TONE

MANDARIN CHINESE TONE PAIRS
PINYIN CHINESE ENGLISH
hē shuǐ 喝水 to drink water
yīng yǔ 英语 English language
zhōng wǔ 中午 noon 
duō shǎo 多少 how many; how much
jīng lǐ 经理 manager
SENTENCE
jīng lǐ zhōng wǔ hē shuǐ
经理中午喝水。
The manager drinks water at noon.

FIRST TONE + FOURTH TONE

MANDARIN CHINESE TONE PAIRS
PINYIN CHINESE ENGLISH
gōng zuò 工作 to work
tiān qì 天气 weather
zhōu mò 周末 weekend
gāo xìng 高兴 happy
shēng rì 生日 birthday
SENTENCE
tā zhōu mò gōng zuò
他周末工作。
He works on the weekend.
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