Everyday Chinese
1. Phonetic knowledge:
    Initials and finals
    Tones
    Tonal Change
2. Initial-Final Combinations
3. Greetings
4. Placing an Order
5. Attending Class 6. Making Inquiries
7. Shopping 8. About Time
 
Putonghua: Phonetic Knowledge
(Click the links to listen.)
 
4. Tonal Change 变调
   
A. Tonal changes of the 3rd tone 第三声的变调
   
1. When two 3rd tones are in succession, the first 3rd tone is pronounced as a 2nd tone.
两个第三声连在一起时,前一个读成第二声。
 
Examples 例子:
小姐
-->
小姐
(Miss)
     
手指
 -->
手指
(finger)
   
   
2. When a 3rd tone is followed by other tones, it is only half-pronounced (named as "half 3rd tone").
第三声出现在其他声调的音节前时,第三声变成半三声。
 
Examples 例子:
感 谢
火 车
语 言
(thank you)
(train)
(language)
 
   
B. Tonal changes of "bu" and "yi" 「不」和 「一」的变调
   
1. "1" is pronounced in its original tone, i.e., the first tone when it:
  (i) stands alone;
(ii) refers to a sequence;
(ii) is the last word of a phrase;
  「一」字单念、用作序数,或处于词句末尾时,读本调(即第一声)。
 
Examples 例子:
一楼
第一
唯一
 一加一
 (the 1st floor)
(the 1st)
(the only one)
(one plus one)
   
2. When "bu" or "yi" appears before a syllable of the 4th tone, it is pronounced as a 2nd tone.
「不」或「一」出现在第四声前时,读作第二声。
 
Examples 例子:
不变
-->
不变
(unchanged)
一定
-->
一定
(certainly)
   
3. When "bu" or "yi" appears before a syllable of any other tones, it is pronounced as a 4th tone.
「 不」或「一」出现在其他声调的音节前时,都读第四声。
 
Examples 例子:
一天
-->
一天
(one day)
一同
-->
一同
(together)
一本
-->
一本
(a copy)
   

不单 
不和
不好
(not only)
(in conflict)
(not good)
   
4. In some special cases, "yi" and "bu" are pronounced as a neutral tone. Neutral tone is much shorter than a normal tone and is identified by the absence of a tone mark.
「一」和「不」在某种特殊情况下读轻声。轻声的音长比重读短得多,而且不标调号。
 
Examples 例子:  
   
shuōyishuō jiǎngyijiǎng
说 一 说 讲 一 讲 
   
hǎobuhǎo huìbuhuì
好 不 好 会 不 会
 
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