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I've always wondered why (when speaking swiftly) it seems as though Mandarin speakers don't always emphasize the tones (mostly the third). After reading an article on the matter, I've learned that third-tone words are pronounced as a fourth-tone word when it is, for example, behind another fourth tone word. This, however, is hardly a problem for me. Up until now I've simply pronounced the pinyin pronunciations as they are, and people understand me. What are the rules to this concept, and how big of an importance do they play?

For learning: Chinese (Mandarin)
Base language: English
Category: Language



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    The third tone is quite special, not like the other three brothers, It takes longer time to pronounce, because you have to make a turn when you do it. But people are lazy, so lot's of time most people don't pronounce the third tone completely. You could find some rules about it if you search. but the thing is people do in this way first, then teachers summarize the rules to explain it.

    I think the best way is to simulate, to feel it, to speak as much as you can, and then you know how to do it, you don't need to remember the rules.


    1. When there are two third-tone syllables together, the first one should be pronounced with the second tome while the tone of the second syllable stays unchanged. 【 ˇ + ˇ = ′+ ˇ 】
    For example: 1.Nǐ hǎo---Ní hǎo 2. Hěn hǎo--Hén hǎo
    2. When a third tone is followed by first, second or fourth tone, or neutral tone, it is pronounced in the "half" third tone. That is the tone that only falls but doesn't rise. 【 ˇ + ( ˉ/′/‵) = half of the third tone + (ˉ/′/‵) 】
    For example: 1Běijīng 2 Měiguó 3Wǎnfàn 4 Xǐhuan

    the rule for the concept is "speak just like people around you"
    language learning is all about imitating

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