Tone pair 3-2

This page will cover some examples of the 3-2 tone pair, which Sinosplice rates as a "7" on a difficulty rating of 1-7 (easiest to hardest).

Practice this tone pair using the words below. Once you can say them reliable in isolation (as just a tone pair), try putting them in longer sentences while keeping the tones accurate.

3-2 Tone Pair Diagram

It helps many learners to see the two tones side by side.

Tone Pair 3-2 cropped.png

One point to note here, though, is that the third tone in this context doesn't actually rise much. It's more important that the third tone be low. Focus on the lowness of the third tone in this pair rather than the rise, and your pronunciation will sound much better. Let the rise feel like part of the second tone. Pay attention to this when you listen to the audio examples on this page.

3-2 Tone Pair Words (A2)

If you're just getting started with tone pairs, these simple two-syllable words and phrases are a good place to start. If these are too easy, you may want to move onto the longer (B1) phrases below.

Audio Chinese Pinyin English
以前 yǐqián before, previous; ago
小时 xiǎoshí hour
好玩 hǎowán fun
美国 Měiguó the United States
法国 Fǎguó France

Source: AllSet Learning's "Tone Pair" Pronunciation Pack (used with permission)

3-2 Tone Pair Phrases (B1)

Audio Chinese Pinyin English
来法国 lái Fǎguó to come to France
回美国 huí Měiguó to return to the United States
几小时 jǐ xiǎoshí several hours
法国和美国 Fǎguó hé Měiguó France and the USA
可能很好玩 kěnéng hěn hǎowán might be very fun

Source: AllSet Learning's "Tone Pair" Pronunciation Pack (used with permission)

3-2 Tone Pair Combos

Audio Chinese Pinyin English
(coming) 很忙 hěn máng very busy
(coming) 很强 hěn qiáng very strong
(coming) 很长 hěn zhǎng very long
(coming) 很红 hěn hóng very red
(coming) 很油 hěn yóu very oily

Source: Sinosplice's Mandarin Chinese Tone Pair Drills (used with permission)

Sources and further reading