Additional tone change rules (B1)

If you can't get enough of tone change rules and you already know the three basic ones, you're probably ready for these intermediate (B1) tone change rules. Note that it's always best if these can be acquired unconsciously rather than actively studied, but if you'd still like to study them, that's what they're here for!

The "Half Third Tone"

This one is known as 半三声 (bàn sān shēng) in Chinese and is well-documented, although not always taught. The idea is that before certain other tones, third tone does not rise. It goes down low and then sort of stops there. So that's why it's a "half" tone: it does the "go low" half, but not the "rise" half. This is also why third tone is best characterized as "the low tone" rather than "the dipping tone" or "the falling-rising tone": third tone frequently doesn't actually rise.

You'll find the "half third tone" to be quite obvious in the following tone pairs:

The half third tone is also the reason why third tone in this diagram has two forms:

4-Tones revised cropped.png

不 becomes neutral tone

【Verb + 不 + Verb】“不”读作轻声。

【Adj. + 不 + Adj.】“不”读作轻声。


Neutral tone in verb reduplication

Verb reduplication is 动词重叠 in Chinese.



A few examples:



First tone in adjective reduplication

Adjective reduplication is 形容词重叠 in Chinese.



A few examples:

慢→ 慢慢儿(mànmānr)

早→ 早早儿(zǎozāor)

好→ 好好儿( hǎohāor)



2) 双音节形容词重叠



A few examples:

漂亮(piàoliang)→ 漂漂亮亮(piàopiaoliāngliāng)

热闹(rènao)→ 热热闹闹(rèrenāonāo)

舒服(shūfu)→ 舒舒服服(shūshufūfū)

Neutral tone for 边 in location words

"Location words" are 方位词 in Chinese.


外边 里边 上边 下边 前边 后边 左边 右边