There are 6 tones in Cantonese, tone 1 to 6, let's split them into 3 groups.
Group 1: tone1/ Group 2: tone2 and 5/ Group 3: tone3, 4 and 6
Tone 1 is the easiest tone to find, it equals to stressed syllables in English or other Western languages, for example, father has 2 syllables, one is fa, the other is ther, the first one fa is stressed, because it's higher in pitch, this sound exactly equals to tone 1 in Cantonese.For example I want to pronounce: tik1 (means tick in Cantonese), let's pronounce ticking first, ticking has 2 syllables, the first is stressed, so ti is tik1.
Tone 2 and 5 are both rising tones and are the same in question tones, like WHAT? WHERE? WHO? So to find these 2 tones, you just need to pronounce "WHAT?" then you got the correct tones!
However, what are the differences between tone 2 and 5? Well, you want to be very strict, tone 2 is relatively higher compared to tone 5, but actually when local people are speaking, to speak faster, they will omit details while talking in conversations, so you can just treat these 2 tones as the same tone.For example, if you want to pronounce hou2 (means good in Cantonese), we pronounce WHAT? first, then use the pitch of WHAT? you can find hou2 very easily.
Similarly, just like tone 2 and 5, because these 3 tones are so close to each other and quite familiar too, so when talking in conversations, they sound just like the same tone. These 3 tones are just like our unstressed syllables, let's take father as the example again. The second syllable ther is not stressed, and this equals to tone 3, 4 or 6 in Cantonses.For example, if you want to pronounce daap3 (means take transportation in Cantonese), you can produce Linda first, Lin is stressed and da isn't, here da is our tone 3 for daap.
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