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Lesson 4 Chinese Tone Changing Rules

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Learn about Chinese Tone Changing Rules
Learn about Chinese Tone Changing Rules

Comments (15)

The Anki flash card for 116 shows the pinyin as yì bǎi yī shí liù. I expected the second yi to be 2nd tone. Why not?
Kristi 2 years 4 months ago
No, sorry, I expected the second yi to be 4th tone, because shi is not 4th tone.
Kristi 2 years 4 months ago
That's because when "yī" is inside a number (not the first digit), then it keeps the first tone.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 4 months ago
Thank you for your patience with me. Now I see that explained in lesson 18 lecture notes. The other hard one for me is yí ɡe hàn bǎo bāo. I see in lesson 31 that ge can be 4th tone or neutral, but I don't know the rule on that. In this case, yí ɡe hàn bǎo bāo, since there is no fourth tone mark on ge, I expected yì. Why is it yí, and what is the rule for gè (ge)?
Kristi 2 years 4 months ago edited
You are right, ge by default is 4th tone, but when it's being said in short and soft tone, it becomes neutral tone. Here are some of the common ones, ge has neutral tone in yí ge, zhè ge, nà ge. Although the ge in yí ge is neutral tone, the tone change rule for yi still applied, as ge is in 4th tone.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 4 months ago
I am sorry to be so difficult, but why is yí ge different from zhè ge and nà ge? Are these phrases I just need to memorize? Thank you for your help.
Kristi 2 years 4 months ago
There are only three main tone change rules, to my knowledge: 1) multiple 3rd tones in a row, some of the 3rd tones change to 2nd tone 2) The tone of bù 不,changes to bú when followed by a 4th tone word 3) The tone of yì 一 changes to 2nd tone when followed by a 4th tone word. Because zhè and nà are not 3rd tone words, and are not bù or yì, their tone never changes.
Corey 2 years 4 months ago
Hi Corey! Your answer makes more sense than my question. I was reading zhe4 and na4 as yi1. Please help me make sure I understand ge4 (ge). What makes it either 4th tone or neutral?
Kristi 2 years 4 months ago
It appears I misread your question, which is quite interesting. My feeling is that it may depend on the situation; when you use "nà ge" as a filler word, like "um" in English, the ge is neutral tone, but if you are emphasizing "that one!", maybe you would make the ge a 4th tone. It may also depend on the speaker and where they're from a bit, but take this all with a grain of salt. I'm interested to see what Yoyo Chinese has to say :-)
Corey 2 years 4 months ago
Me too, and I do appreciate your comments!
Kristi 2 years 4 months ago
Ok, Thank you!
Kristi 2 years 4 months ago
Xie4 xie, Yangyang. This Google hangout really helped me understand the tone-changing rules for "yi1". I like how you compared "yi1" to "bu4" whenever you use it to measure something. So far, I am getting use to the "bu4" tone-changing rules. I will now practice the "yi1" tone-changing rules!
Ping Jianli 2 years 10 months ago
That's great to hear! Keep it up! :)
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 10 months ago
The description on the page showing all of the hangouts says this one talks about two 3rd tones. I didn't see that in the video. Only 不 and 一 tone rules were discussed. Is it in the questions part after this video fades out?
isamu1122 3 years 1 week ago
Yes, you are right. Sorry about that. For the 3rd tone changing rule, if a 3rd tone is followed by another third tone, the first one changes to 2nd tone. For more info about 3rd tone rules, please refer to our previous comment: https://www.yoyochinese.com/comment/5164#comment-5164.
Yoyo Chinese 2 years 10 months ago
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