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Lesson 3 The 1st and 2nd Tones

preview
All of the tones are important, but it's a good idea to really focus on each one when you're getting started. In this lesson, learn all about the first and second tones, how to pronounce them, and a few tricks you can use to make sure your understanding and pronunciation of the first two tones is spot on.
Lesson Audio Review
All of the tones are important, but it's a good idea to really focus on each one when you're getting started. In this lesson, learn all about the first and second tones, how to pronounce them, and a few tricks you can use to make sure your understanding and pronunciation of the first two tones is spot on.

Comments (44)

Great job, thanks !
jworzala 2 weeks 13 hours ago
These lessons are great. Yang Yang is an amazing teacher. Thank you for teaching us in such a clear and fun way. I have a question how did you acquire such a perfect American Accent? It is a pleasure to listen you speaking in English and Chinese with no accent whatsoever. Because of that, I can keep listening to your lessons again and again.
ngembo 1 month 3 weeks ago
Booyah
jupiter9000 2 months 1 week ago
Is there a Pinyin to English dictionary or graph? Example. Chou(1st tone)=slap, Chou(3rd tone)=ugly, chou(4th tone)=stinky, I don't know what the 2nd and 5th tone for chou is. Would make piecing together sentences much easier when I cannot read or write actual Chinese.
Kyle Peters 1 year 1 month ago
There are a number of such dictionaries, but here's one that I like: http://www.mdbg.net/chindict/chindict.php?wdeac=0 For your question, you can type chou2 into the search box. You may be surprised to see that you get more than one match. This is because there are about 420 Chinese word sounds and at most 5 tones, which means that there about 2100 unique sound/tone combinations, spread unevenly across about 7000 characters [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_characters#Chinese ]
Corey 1 year 1 month ago
in the graph of tone you had explained that first and third tone are same but I got confuse because first tone is flat(-) like hè and the third time is in (v) lyk diaň. so please tell the correct shape of tone.??
Kakkar 1 year 2 months ago
If the third tone is pronounced in isolation it's the full (v). When combined with other words, its a half third tone and pronounced in the low flat pitch. For more information please check out this Yoyo Blog article here: http://www.yoyochinese.com/blog/learn-mandarin-chinese-third-tone-the-co...
Jenny at Yoyo Chinese 1 year 2 months ago
Hello! I'm used to use the rising tone for questions in the languages I speak: if this tone is a part of the word, how do I indicate tha my sentence is a question? For instance (with my scarce knowledge of Chinese): when I say "ni hao" to someone, is it a question (ni hao? You good?) or a statement (ni hao, you good)? Xie xie.
bfaziomail 1 year 2 months ago
Don't worry, even for Chinese, intonations are used to determine statement/questions. There are also some specific Chinese question words (I'll email you links to a couple of our video lessons), but context always matter! And as greetings go, please check out our article here: http://www.yoyochinese.com/blog/how-chinese-people-want-to-be-greeted
Jenny at Yoyo Chinese 1 year 2 months ago edited
Hello, I have a problem discerning the sounds of t/d, k/g, p/b. Has this been covered before? If so, please kindly refer me to the page. Another question: how do you say dessert store (as in bakery store) or Tiándiǎn diàn -- a kind of tongue twister :-). Many thanks in advance!
maud 1 year 7 months ago
These consonants t/d, k/g, p/b, are not specific emphasized on our pinyin lessons. They sound just like the english initial sounds, i.e. "t" sounds like "t" in "top", "d" sounds like "d" in "dog", "k" sounds like "k" in "kid", "g" sounds like "g" in "girl", etc. You may spend sometime on our video-based pinyin chart for practices. 甜点店 (tián diǎn diàn) is a tongue twister! Dessert store is also called 点心店 (diǎn xīn diàn). :)
Yoyo Chinese 1 year 7 months ago
Why do all of the other books and sites say tone 3 goes down and then up... not flat and low?
toonups 1 year 10 months ago
We think this previous post will be able to answer your question: https://www.yoyochinese.com/comment/5673#comment-5673. Feel free to let us know if you have any further questions.
Yoyo Chinese 1 year 10 months ago
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linda 2 years 5 months ago
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Girouard 2 years 7 months ago
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Frank Churchin 2 years 10 months ago
I studied Japanese in college - does chinese use the exact same characters for the exact same words? I.e. the same kanji/character for horse looks exactly the same in Japanese as it does in Chinese, etc? If they are different - how? Thank you.
Jade22 2 years 10 months ago
You are right. There are some characters in Japanese are exactly the same as in Chinese. However, majority of the characters are still different. They are two different languages after all.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 10 months ago
Hi. I don't understand how to pronounce the "r" in words like: zhū ròu, míng rén, rú guǒ and niú ròu. Is it pronounced almost like rolling your "r" in Spanish? This word also gives me a hard time: nán rén. It seems like the "r" is pronounced differently than the "r" in the words above. Can you help, please? Thank you.
RonB 2 years 11 months ago
Some native speakers pronounce the "r" sound a little differently from others, and even within "standard" Mandarin pronunciation, there is some room for slight differences with how much "friction" there is. So in SOME cases it might sound more like the French "j" or even almost like the "s" in the English word "measure" to you, and in OTHER cases it might sound more like the American English "r" to you.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 11 months ago
The most important thing to keep in mind is that when you pronounce the "r" in Chinese, the tongue tip is curled back a little further and has more friction than when you pronounce the American English "r." Also, while the English "r" is always accompanied by lip rounding, the Chinese "r" has lip rounding only when preceding "o" and "u." When it's in front of "a," "e", and "i," the lips are actually spread, not rounded. Hope that helps.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 11 months ago
Hello,i'm indonesian i'm really glad to found this web site and i'm also really support this channel to encourage my self for studying chinese,by the way this is really cool video that i just started to learn chinese tones and actually i'm also learn 2 language at the same time first i'm learning chinese but on the other hand i get my english improved and hopefully i can able to speak chinese fluenly in next 6 month i'm really excited to be here 谢谢
Ricky prinana 2 years 12 months ago
Thank you so much for the support. Good luck with your Chinese studies. Feel free to let us know if you have any question. :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 12 months ago
Thank you so much for this material. What a good job you have done with your team !. I am from Colombia. improving my english and learning chinesse at the same time thanks to you Yangyang !! xièxiè
datoro1 3 years 1 week ago
Great job! Thank you so much for the support.
Yoyo Chinese 3 years 1 week ago
I live in China, and I have been struggling with tones the entire time I have been here. Yangyang I really am impressed by the way you understand the native English speaker and your teaching methods. This is by far the best method I have come across! I am so glad I have found your website. I am really encouraged to improve and better learn the Chinese language. Please keep up the great work you are a great teacher!
RTorres 3 years 1 month ago
wow you way of teaching is really cool! ill try to practice tones from now on
alexandra.bruges 3 years 1 month ago
Thank you for the support! Keep up with the great works. :)
Yoyo Chinese 3 years 1 month ago
How do chinese express their emotions or attitudes when they are speaking, if their voice is busy with tones?
wizard91 3 years 2 months ago
I like the way you teach! also, in this website there're lots of useful materials & exercises. I think with you I will learn basics with fun & simultaneously effective!
Temirlan1999 3 years 3 months ago
Thank you so much for the nice comments. Have fun studying. :)
Yoyo Chinese 3 years 3 months ago
Thank you so much! Unfortunately I didn't get these tips in college
HelloTj12 3 years 3 months ago
ohh its really interesting ....thank you to so much Ms Yoyo
kutub 3 years 4 months ago
I love it, I love it, I love it! The lesson audio review is amazing...After 3 months, only now, with your lessons, do I actually believe that one day I can speak chinese with the tones...it's not hopeless after all! Thank You! ps: I'm exhausted though ;-) 谢谢
ferielt 3 years 5 months ago edited
I'm unclear as to what the difference between the BCC and CPP lessons are. I know what they stand for but when I go to the main lesson page, I just see lessons laid out in sequential order for the six month plan. In looking at the schedule, I just find myself asking, am I studying the right thing? Or am I missing something? Thanks…
Dapeng 3 years 5 months ago
Beginner conversational Chinese is to get you started with the simple basic daily conversations. Our study schedule incorporates Chinese pinyin and Chinese on the street. In order to pronounce Chinese words correctly, you must learn Chinese pinyin. You don't need to study Chinese characters yet until you have some knowledge in Chinese. Feel free to let us know if you have any question.
Yoyo Chinese 3 years 5 months ago
Could you provide more detail on the Beijing accent? I know that people from Beijing will sometimes finish a word with the "R" sound and I want to know if there is a way to remember which words I should add the R sound to, in order to develop the Beijing hua.
Aaron5616 3 years 6 months ago
There's no rule as to when to add "r" at the end of a word to make it sound like Beijing accent. There are a few good articles on the Beijing accent and here's a good one: http://www.hackingchinese.com/learning-to-understand-regionally-accented...
Yoyo Chinese Development 3 years 6 months ago
Just started this course. I am very pleased with it. xie xie
Newman 3 years 9 months ago
Glad to hear that. Enjoy the lessons. Feel free to let us know if you have any question. :)
Yoyo Chinese Development 3 years 9 months ago
Audio reviews are the magic weapon for this battle! So clear, so nice! Thanks a lot!
PN 3 years 11 months ago
Thanks for the nice comments. :)
Yoyo Chinese Development 3 years 11 months ago
I'm glad you have videos on tones. Because this is currently my weakest point in learning Chinese. I find it so hard to figure out which tone is being used.
fatleboo8 4 years 2 months ago
Great to hear! :) Feel free to let us know if you have any question. We are always here to help!
Yoyo Chinese Development 4 years 2 months ago
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