Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Focusing on tone pairs to improve your Mandarin pronunciation

Tones are, without doubt, one of the hardest parts of Chinese to master and many students struggle with them even long after leaving the beginner stage of learning. Understanding the basics of tones in Chinese isn’t that hard and most people can do it relatively quickly with the right kind of instruction and some practice, but it’s not easy to translate this knowledge into actual speaking ability. I also make tone mistakes sometimes, although I have become much better at spotting them and the number of mistakes keeps on falling.

I believe that mastering tone pairs is crucial for all students. In this article, I will do two things: First, I will explain why tone pairs are so useful. Second, I will give you more tone combinations that you can possibly wish in the form of tone sorted HSK and TOCFL vocabulary lists.

tonepairs

T1 + T3 and T2 + T1 pitch contours in Praat.

Tone pairs

One problem with they way tones are normally taught is that way too much time is spent on single-syllable words. This becomes an even bigger problem if the third tone is taught as a full falling-rising tone, which will lead to problems because that’s not the way it’s normally pronounced. Therefore, the best way of practising tones in Chinese is to move to words consisting of two syllables as soon as possible.

Naturally, you can also practice sentences and intonation, but that’s something different and if you find tones are hard to grasp in the first place, reading a long sentence and superimposing intonation certainly won’t make things easier Mastering tone pairs is a must!

Practising Chinese tones in pairs

The reason disyllabic words are great is that most tone changes(sandhi) rules apply, but a single word is still short enough to be focused on properly. It also makes sense to focus on these words because modern Chinese has a very strong preference for disyllabic words, meaning that if you know all possible combinations really well, getting pronunciation in sentences right is mostly a matter of practise.

What I mean by this is that if you don’t get the basic two-syllable combinations, you might not learn to produce correct sentences at all, regardless of how much you practise. If you do learn how to handle disyllabic words, you will probably be able to produce good sentences simply by paying attention and speaking more Chinese since you already have the basics down.

If you’re a complete beginner or feel that you don’t know the basics at all, I suggest you head over to Sinosplice and check John’s Mandarin Chinese Tone Pair Drills. He offers a few examples for every tone combination, as well as explanations and audio.

Another thing to remember is that your tones might not be as good as you think. I think all students should try doing a blind test at least once, meaning that the listener doesn’t know or guess the right answer and can’t pretend to understand. You will most likely find that there are problems you weren’t aware of, even if  you’ve studied Chinese for a while (some problems are really hard to spot without feedback). You can use my tone bingo game for this, which is very good at catching pronunciation problems and is quite fun as well.

This is not enough, we need more!

Both when I learnt tones myself and when I teach other people, I find that this is often not enough. After having discussed this with a number of classmates, it seems like both students and teachers alike have this problem: In order to practise tone pairs, we sometimes have to come up with a large number of examples of any given combination, which is not easy, especially not if we want to use known or familiar words!

However, this problem is solvable, because it is possible to write a script that sorts a word list according to the tone combinations. Since I lack the necessary coding skills to write such a script, I approached my good friend Magnus Falk with this problem to see how hard it would be to achieve. No problem, he said.

It actually turned out to take longer than he thought, but we now have a script that works fairly well. We still haven’t worked out how to implement the script on the website yet, but if you really want to play around with it on your own, all necessary files are available on GitHub (the tone sorter is written in Python). If you just want more tone combinations than you’ll ever need, just keep on reading.

More tone combinations that you will ever need

If you download and run the script yourself, you should be able to sort any word list by tone, but since most people probably don’t need that and it would be too much trouble to explain exactly how it works, for now I will provide you with a very large number of tone combinations you can use for either learning or teaching tones.

First, I offer the complete lists for both HSK (simplified) and TOCFL (traditional), sorted by tone combination. You can download the lists here:

Please note: These lists are based on the official lists, so any errors are (probably) not mine, unless the sorting itself is wrong. They should be mostly correct, though, the only common problem I have seen is for phrases, but they are quite rare and not the main issue here.

The lists contain words with more than two syllables as well, so if you want to practise three-syllable words, you just need to download the files. The polysyllabic words are of course also sorted by tone! The list also contains monosyllables, but mostly for the sake of comprehensiveness, I can’t really see why anyone would need them.

Second, I for quick reference, I have provided the first 50 combinations of each tone combination below for quick reference. This should be more than what most people need, but if you do want more for some reason, you can just use the download links above. Here’s an index of the words listed in this article. Simply click the combination you want; click “back” in your browser if you want to go back to this navigation.

T1 + T?

  1. T1 + T1
  2. T1 + T2
  3. T1 + T3
  4. T1 + T4
  5. T1 + T0

T2 + T?

  1. T2 + T1
  2. T2 + T2
  3. T2 + T3
  4. T2 + T4
  5. T2 + T0

T3 + T?

  1. T3 + T1
  2. T3 + T2
  3. T3 + T3
  4. T3 + T4
  5. T3 + T0

T4 + T?

  1. T4 + T1
  2. T4 + T2
  3. T4 + T3
  4. T4 + T4
  5. T4 + T0

T1 + T1
HSK Word Pinyin
1 飞机 fēijī
1 分钟 fēnzhōng
1 今天 jīntiān
1 星期 xīngqī
1 医生 yīshēng
2 公司 gōngsī
2 咖啡 kāfēi
2 西瓜 xīguā
3 冰箱 bīngxiāng
3 参加 cānjiā
3 担心 dānxīn
3 发烧 fāshāo
3 公斤 gōngjīn
3 刮风 guāfēng
3 关心 guānxīn
3 几乎 jīhū
3 声音 shēngyīn
3 司机 sījī
3 香蕉 xiāngjiāo
3 新鲜 xīnxiān
3 应该 yīnggāi
3 中间 zhōngjiān
4 餐厅 cāntīng
4 参观 cānguān
4 吃惊 chī jīng
4 抽烟 chōuyān
4 出差 chū chāi
4 出发 chūfā
4 出生 chūshēng
4 粗心 cūxīn
4 发生 fāshēng
4 干杯 gān bēi
4 工资 gōngzī
4 加班 jiā bān
4 交通 jiāotōng
4 郊区 jiāoqū
4 开心 kāixīn
4 轻松 qīngsōng
4 沙发 shāfā
4 伤心 shāngxīn
4 稍微 shāowēi
4 通知 tōngzhī
4 增加 zēngjiā
5 安装 ānzhuāng
5 悲观 bēiguān
5 操心 cāo xīn
5 车厢 chēxiāng
5 吃亏 chīkuī
5 粗糙 cūcāo
5 当心 dāngxīn

T1 + T2
HSK Word Pinyin
1 中国 zhōngguó
2 非常 fēicháng
2 虽然 suīrán
3 阿姨 āyí
3 帮忙 bāngmáng
3 当然 dāngrán
3 刚才 gāngcái
3 公园 gōngyuán
3 关于 guānyú
3 欢迎 huānyíng
3 经常 jīngcháng
3 空调 kōngtiáo
3 刷牙 shuāyá
3 突然 tūrán
3 新闻 xīnwén
3 要求 yāoqiú
3 中文 zhōngwén
3 终于 zhōngyú
4 安排 ānpái
4 安全 ānquán
4 当时 dāngshí
4 积极 jījí
4 坚持 jiānchí
4 将来 jiānglái
4 交流 jiāoliú
4 科学 kēxué
4 批评 pīpíng
4 区别 qūbié
4 森林 sēnlín
4 生活 shēnghuó
4 说明 shuōmíng
4 推迟 tuīchí
4 相同 xiāngtóng
4 心情 xīnqíng
4 支持 zhīchí
4 周围 zhōuwéi
4 专门 zhuānmén
5 包含 bāohán
5 编辑 biānjí
5 超级 chāojí
5 出席 chūxí
5 初级 chūjí
5 窗帘 chuānglián
5 匆忙 cōngmáng
5 单纯 dānchún
5 单独 dāndú
5 单元 dānyuán
5 多余 duōyú
5 发愁 fā chóu
5 发达 fādá

T1 + T3
HSK Word Pinyin
1 中午 zhōngwǔ
2 宾馆 bīnguǎn
2 机场 jīchǎng
2 开始 kāishǐ
2 铅笔 qiānbǐ
2 身体 shēntǐ
3 黑板 hēibǎn
3 经理 jīnglǐ
4 标准 biāozhǔn
4 发展 fāzhǎn
4 方法 fāngfǎ
4 公里 gōnglǐ
4 积累 jīlěi
4 基础 jīchǔ
4 精彩 jīngcǎi
4 缺点 quēdiǎn
4 缺少 quēshǎo
4 申请 shēnqǐng
4 危险 wēixiǎn
4 污染 wūrǎn
4 吸引 xīyǐn
4 相反 xiāngfǎn
4 辛苦 xīnkǔ
4 修理 xiūlǐ
4 邀请 yāoqǐng
4 因此 yīncǐ
4 优点 yōudiǎn
5 包裹 bāoguǒ
5 标点 biāodiǎn
5 参考 cānkǎo
5 操场 cāochǎng
5 充满 chōngmǎn
5 出版 chūbǎn
5 出口 chūkǒu
5 发表 fābiǎo
5 发抖 fādǒu
5 分手 fēnshǒu
5 风景 fēngjǐng
5 风险 fēngxiǎn
5 钢铁 gāngtiě
5 根本 gēnběn
5 工厂 gōngchǎng
5 公主 gōngzhǔ
5 恭喜 gōngxǐ
5 观点 guāndiǎn
5 婚礼 hūnlǐ
5 基本 jīběn
5 肩膀 jiānbǎng
5 艰苦 jiānkǔ
5 交往 jiāowǎng

T1 + T4
HSK Word Pinyin
1 高兴 gāoxìng
1 工作 gōngzuò
1 商店 shāngdiàn
1 天气 tiānqì
1 医院 yīyuàn
2 帮助 bāngzhù
2 鸡蛋 jīdàn
2 生病 shēngbìng
2 生日 shēngrì
2 说话 shuōhuà
2 希望 xīwàng
2 因为 yīnwèi
3 安静 ānjìng
3 超市 chāoshì
3 发现 fāxiàn
3 方便 fāngbiàn
3 干净 gānjìng
3 根据 gēnjù
3 机会 jīhuì
3 街道 jiēdào
3 经过 jīngguò
3 生气 shēngqì
3 相信 xiāngxìn
3 需要 xūyào
3 音乐 yīnyuè
3 周末 zhōumò
4 超过 chāoguò
4 出现 chūxiàn
4 翻译 fānyì
4 方面 fāngmiàn
4 方向 fāngxiàng
4 丰富 fēngfù
4 估计 gūjì
4 关键 guānjiàn
4 观众 guānzhòng
4 规定 guīdìng
4 激动 jīdòng
4 家具 jiājù
4 骄傲 jiāo’ào
4 接受 jiēshòu
4 京剧 jīngjù
4 经济 jīngjì
4 经历 jīnglì
4 经验 jīngyàn
4 究竟 jiūjìng
4 空气 kōngqì
4 千万 qiānwàn
4 签证 qiānzhèng
4 生命 shēngmìng
4 失败 shībài

T1 + T0
HSK Word Pinyin
1 杯子 bēizi
1 东西 dōngxi
1 多少 duōshao
1 妈妈 māma
1 先生 xiānsheng
1 衣服 yīfu
1 桌子 zhuōzi
2 哥哥 gēge
2 妻子 qīzi
2 休息 xiūxi
2 知道 zhīdao
3 聪明 cōngming
3 多么 duōme
3 关系 guānxi
3 清楚 qīngchu
3 叔叔 shūshu
3 舒服 shūfu
4 包子 bāozi
4 窗户 chuānghu
4 胳膊 gēbo
4 功夫 gōngfu
4 接着 jiēzhe
4 亲戚 qīnqi
4 商量 shāngliang
4 生意 shēngyi
4 师傅 shīfu
4 收拾 shōushi
4 孙子 sūnzi
4 消息 xiāoxi
4 知识 zhīshi
5 玻璃 bōli
5 叉子 chāzi
5 称呼 chēnghu
5 抽屉 chōuti
5 答应 dāying
5 耽误 dānwu
5 姑姑 gūgu
5 规矩 guīju
5 姑娘 gūniang
5 夹子 jiāzi
5 结实 jiēshi
5 精神 jīngshen
5 狮子 shīzi
5 梳子 shūzi
5 屋子 wūzi
6 报酬 bàochou
6 报复 bàofu
6 辫子 biànzi
6 别扭 bièniu
6 伺候 cìhou

T2 + T1
HSK Word Pinyin
1 明天 míngtiān
1 昨天 zuótiān
2 房间 fángjiān
2 旁边 pángbiān
2 时间 shíjiān
3 国家 guójiā
3 结婚 jiéhūn
3 离开 líkāi
3 聊天 liáotiān
3 邻居 línjū
3 年轻 niánqīng
3 爬山 páshān
3 其他 qítā
3 提高 tígāo
3 熊猫 xióngmāo
4 长江 chángjiāng
4 成功 chénggōng
4 重新 chóngxīn
4 传真 chuánzhēn
4 房东 fángdōng
4 航班 hángbān
4 节约 jiéyuē
4 毛巾 máojīn
4 皮肤 pífū
4 其中 qízhōng
4 十分 shífēn
4 熟悉 shúxī
4 提供 tígōng
4 文章 wénzhāng
4 学期 xuéqī
4 牙膏 yágāo
4 研究 yánjiū
4 阳光 yángguāng
4 原因 yuányīn
4 直接 zhíjiē
5 曾经 céngjīng
5 潮湿 cháoshī
5 承担 chéngdān
5 除非 chúfēi
5 除夕 chúxī
5 传播 chuánbō
5 传说 chuánshuō
5 服装 fúzhuāng
5 核心 héxīn
5 胡说 húshuō
5 黄金 huángjīn
5 集中 jízhōng
5 决心 juéxīn
5 离婚 lí hūn
5 明星 míngxīng

 

T2 + T2
HSK Word Pinyin
1 同学 tóngxué
1 学习 xuéxí
3 黄河 huánghé
3 回答 huídá
3 留学 liúxué
3 年级 niánjí
3 皮鞋 píxié
3 其实 qíshí
3 完成 wánchéng
3 银行 yínháng
3 着急 zháojí
4 长城 chángchéng
4 成为 chéngwéi
4 诚实 chéngshí
4 厨房 chúfáng
4 从来 cónglái
4 儿童 értóng
4 符合 fúhé
4 国籍 guójí
4 合格 hégé
4 怀疑 huáiyí
4 及时 jíshí
4 零钱 língqián
4 流行 liúxíng
4 民族 mínzú
4 年龄 niánlíng
4 平时 píngshí
4 然而 rán’ér
4 仍然 réngrán
4 提前 tíqián
4 同情 tóngqíng
4 同时 tóngshí
4 完全 wánquán
4 无聊 wúliáo
4 严格 yángé
4 尤其 yóuqí
4 由于 yóuyú
4 邮局 yóujú
4 原来 yuánlái
5 长途 chángtú
5 常识 chángshí
5 成人 chéngrén
5 成熟 chéngshú
5 池塘 chítáng
5 辞职 cízhí
5 从而 cóng’ér
5 从前 cóngqián
5 敌人 dírén
5 繁荣 fánróng
5 国王 guówáng

 

T2 + T3
HSK Word Pinyin
1 没有 méiyǒu
1 苹果 píngguǒ
2 牛奶 niúnǎi
2 游泳 yóuyǒng
3 词典 cídiǎn
3 而且 érqiě
3 啤酒 píjiǔ
3 如果 rúguǒ
4 词语 cíyǔ
4 烦恼 fánnǎo
4 即使 jíshǐ
4 结果 jiéguǒ
4 提醒 tíxǐng
5 财产 cáichǎn
5 成果 chéngguǒ
5 成语 chéngyǔ
5 成长 chéngzhǎng
5 诚恳 chéngkěn
5 迟早 chízǎo
5 传染 chuánrǎn
5 传统 chuántǒng
5 从此 cóngcǐ
5 罚款 fákuǎn
5 合法 héfǎ
5 合理 hélǐ
5 合影 héyǐng
5 急诊 jízhěn
5 集体 jítǐ
5 节省 jiéshěng
5 厘米 límǐ
5 良好 liánghǎo
5 浏览 liúlǎn
5 媒体 méitǐ
5 描写 miáoxiě
5 明显 míngxiǎn
5 模仿 mófǎng
5 难免 nánmiǎn
5 培养 péiyǎng
5 平等 píngděng
5 情景 qíngjǐng
5 人口 rénkǒu
5 随手 suíshǒu
5 调整 tiáozhěng
5 完美 wánměi
5 完整 wánzhěng
5 王子 wángzǐ
5 违反 wéifǎn
5 寻找 xúnzhǎo
5 牙齿 yáchǐ
5 营养 yíngyǎng

 

T2 + T4
HSK Word Pinyin
1 前面 qiánmiàn
1 学校 xuéxiào
2 颜色 yánsè
2 羊肉 yángròu
2 一下 yíxià
3 不但 búdàn
3 成绩 chéngjì
3 城市 chéngshì
3 迟到 chídào
3 环境 huánjìng
3 节目 jiémù
3 结束 jiéshù
3 节日 jiérì
3 决定 juédìng
3 难过 nánguò
3 奇怪 qíguài
3 然后 ránhòu
3 容易 róngyì
3 同事 tóngshì
3 同意 tóngyì
3 文化 wénhuà
3 习惯 xíguàn
3 一定 yídìng
3 一共 yígòng
3 一会儿 yíhuìr
3 一样 yíyàng
3 游戏 yóuxì
4 博士 bóshì
4 不过 búguò
4 材料 cáiliào
4 乘坐 chéngzuò
4 答案 dá’àn
4 得意 déyì
4 国际 guójì
4 寒假 hánjià
4 合适 héshì
4 回忆 huíyì
4 活动 huódòng
4 来自 láizì
4 联系 liánxì
4 流利 liúlì
4 迷路 mílù
4 难道 nándào
4 难受 nánshòu
4 能力 nénglì
4 排队 pái duì
4 排列 páiliè
4 其次 qícì
4 情况 qíngkuàng
4 全部 quánbù

 

T2 + T0
HSK Word Pinyin
1 儿子 érzi
1 名字 míngzi
1 朋友 péngyou
1 什么 shénme
1 时候 shíhou
1 学生 xuésheng
2 孩子 háizi
2 觉得 juéde
2 便宜 piányi
3 鼻子 bízi
3 别人 biéren
3 除了 chúle
3 还是 háishi
3 明白 míngbai
3 盘子 pánzi
3 瓶子 píngzi
3 裙子 qúnzi
3 头发 tóufa
3 爷爷 yéye
4 盒子 hézi
4 活泼 huópo
4 咳嗽 késou
4 凉快 liángkuai
4 麻烦 máfan
4 脾气 píqi
4 葡萄 pútao
4 勺子 sháozi
4 随着 suízhe
4 咱们 zánmen
4 值得 zhíde
5 脖子 bózi
5 合同 hétong
5 猴子 hóuzi
5 糊涂 hútu
5 桔子 júzi
5 粮食 liángshi
5 逻辑 luóji
5 馒头 mántou
5 眉毛 méimao
5 苗条 miáotiao
5 模糊 móhu
5 绳子 shéngzi
5 石头 shítou
5 学问 xuéwen
5 竹子 zhúzi
6 裁缝 cáifeng
6 残疾 cánji
6 含糊 hánhu
6 和气 héqi
6 唠叨 láodao

 

T3 + T1
HSK Word Pinyin
1 北京 běijīng
1 老师 lǎoshī
2 好吃 hǎochī
2 手机 shǒujī
3 北方 běifāng
3 简单 jiǎndān
3 起飞 qǐfēi
3 小心 xiǎoxīn
4 饼干 bǐnggān
4 打针 dǎzhēn
4 堵车 dǔchē
4 广播 guǎngbō
4 果汁 guǒzhī
4 奖金 jiǎngjīn
4 紧张 jǐnzhāng
4 烤鸭 kǎoyā
4 可惜 kěxī
4 首都 shǒudū
4 首先 shǒuxiān
4 小吃 xiǎochī
4 小说 xiǎoshuō
4 许多 xǔduō
4 演出 yǎnchū
5 本科 běnkē
5 补充 bǔchōng
5 产生 chǎnshēng
5 打工 dǎgōng
5 感激 gǎnjī
5 拐弯 guǎi wān
5 海关 hǎiguān
5 海鲜 hǎixiān
5 假装 jiǎzhuāng
5 剪刀 jiǎndāo
5 酒吧 jiǔbā
5 卡车 kǎchē
5 启发 qǐfā
5 取消 qǔxiāo
5 始终 shǐzhōng
5 手工 shǒugōng
5 鼠标 shǔ biāo
5 损失 sǔnshī
5 体贴 tǐtiē
5 统一 tǒngyī
5 展开 zhǎn kāi
5 指挥 zhǐhuī
5 主观 zhǔguān
5 主张 zhǔzhāng
5 总之 zǒngzhī
5 组织 zǔzhī
6 把关 bǎ guān

 

T3 + T2
HSK Word Pinyin
1 女儿 nǚ’ér
2 可能 kěnéng
2 旅游 lǚyóu
2 起床 qǐ chuáng
2 小时 xiǎoshí
3 检查 jiǎnchá
3 解决 jiějué
3 水平 shuǐpíng
3 选择 xuǎnzé
3 以前 yǐqián
3 有名 yǒumíng
4 本来 běnlái
4 比如 bǐrú
4 表格 biǎogé
4 表扬 biǎoyáng
4 打折 dǎzhé
4 导游 dǎoyóu
4 否则 fǒuzé
4 感觉 gǎnjué
4 感情 gǎnqíng
4 海洋 hǎiyáng
4 减肥 jiǎnféi
4 警察 jǐngchá
4 举行 jǔxíng
4 可怜 kělián
4 旅行 lǚxíng
4 网球 wǎngqiú
4 演员 yǎnyuán
4 养成 yǎngchéng
4 以为 yǐwéi
4 语言 yǔyán
4 准时 zhǔnshí
4 总结 zǒngjié
5 保持 bǎochí
5 保存 bǎocún
5 保留 bǎoliú
5 表达 biǎodá
5 表明 biǎomíng
5 表情 biǎoqíng
5 彩虹 cǎihóng
5 倒霉 dǎoméi
5 等于 děngyú
5 躲藏 duǒcáng
5 耳环 ěrhuán
5 反而 fǎn’ér
5 仿佛 fǎngfú
5 改革 gǎigé
5 果然 guǒrán
5 果实 guǒshí
5 火柴 huǒchái

 

T3 + T3
HSK Word Pinyin
1 水果 shuǐguǒ
2 可以 kěyǐ
2 手表 shǒubiǎo
2 所以 suǒyǐ
3 打扫 dǎsǎo
3 了解 liǎojiě
3 洗澡 xǐzǎo
3 影响 yǐngxiǎng
3 只有 zhǐyǒu
4 表演 biǎoyǎn
4 打扰 dǎrǎo
4 管理 guǎnlǐ
4 减少 jiǎnshǎo
4 尽管 jǐnguǎn
4 老虎 lǎohǔ
4 理解 lǐjiě
4 理想 lǐxiǎng
4 偶尔 ǒu’ěr
4 所有 suǒyǒu
4 往往 wǎngwǎng
4 也许 yěxǔ
4 引起 yǐnqǐ
4 永远 yǒngyuǎn
4 勇敢 yǒnggǎn
4 友好 yǒuhǎo
4 语法 yǔfǎ
4 允许 yǔnxǔ
4 整理 zhěnglǐ
4 只好 zhǐhǎo
5 保险 bǎoxiǎn
5 本领 běnlǐng
5 彼此 bǐcǐ
5 采访 cǎifǎng
5 采取 cǎiqǔ
5 产品 chǎnpǐn
5 处理 chǔlǐ
5 导演 dǎoyǎn
5 岛屿 dǎoyǔ
5 辅导 fǔdǎo
5 赶紧 gǎnjǐn
5 感想 gǎnxiǎng
5 古典 gǔdiǎn
5 鼓舞 gǔwǔ
5 鼓掌 gǔ zhǎng
5 广场 guǎngchǎng
5 缓解 huǎnjiě
5 老板 lǎobǎn
5 老鼠 lǎoshǔ
5 了不起 liǎobuqǐ
5 领导 lǐngdǎo

 

T3 + T4
HSK Word Pinyin
1 米饭 mǐfàn
1 怎么样 zěnmeyàng
2 考试 kǎoshì
2 跑步 pǎobù
2 准备 zhǔnbèi
3 比较 bǐjiào
3 比赛 bǐsài
3 打算 dǎsuàn
3 感冒 gǎnmào
3 可爱 kě’ài
3 礼物 lǐwù
3 马上 mǎshàng
3 满意 mǎnyì
3 努力 nǔlì
3 请假 qǐngjià
3 体育 tǐyù
3 饮料 yǐnliào
3 主要 zhǔyào
3 总是 zǒngshì
4 保护 bǎohù
4 保证 bǎozhèng
4 表示 biǎoshì
4 打印 dǎyìn
4 短信 duǎnxìn
4 法律 fǎlǜ
4 反对 fǎnduì
4 改变 gǎibiàn
4 感动 gǎndòng
4 感谢 gǎnxiè
4 鼓励 gǔlì
4 广告 guǎnggào
4 好像 hǎoxiàng
4 解释 jiěshì
4 景色 jǐngsè
4 举办 jǔbàn
4 考虑 kǎolǜ
4 可是 kěshì
4 肯定 kěndìng
4 恐怕 kǒngpà
4 冷静 lěngjìng
4 礼貌 lǐmào
4 理发 lǐfà
4 美丽 měilì
4 免费 miǎn fèi
4 普遍 pǔbiàn
4 使用 shǐyòng
4 讨论 tǎolùn
4 讨厌 tǎoyàn
4 网站 wǎngzhàn
4 眼镜 yǎnjìng

 

T3 + T0
HSK Word Pinyin
1 我们 wǒmen
1 喜欢 xǐhuan
1 小姐 xiǎojie
1 椅子 yǐzi
1 怎么 zěnme
2 姐姐 jiějie
2 晚上 wǎnshang
2 眼睛 yǎnjing
2 已经 yǐjing
2 早上 zǎoshang
2 左边 zuǒbian
3 耳朵 ěrduo
3 奶奶 nǎinai
3 起来 qǐlai
4 打扮 dǎban
4 好处 hǎochu
4 饺子 jiǎozi
4 马虎 mǎhu
4 母亲 mǔqin
4 暖和 nuǎnhuo
4 主意 zhǔyi
5 尺子 chǐzi
5 打听 dǎting
5 点心 diǎnxin
5 骨头 gǔtou
5 管子 guǎnzi
5 讲究 jiǎngjiu
5 老实 lǎoshi
5 姥姥 lǎolao
5 脑袋 nǎodai
5 嗓子 sǎngzi
5 舍不得 shěbude
5 尾巴 wěiba
5 委屈 wěiqu
5 显得 xiǎnde
5 影子 yǐngzi
6 把手 ba3shou
6 本事 ben3shi
6 比方 bi3fang
6 打量 da3liang
6 恶心 e3xin
6 喇叭 la3ba
6 码头 ma3tou
6 免得 mian3de
6 曲子 qu3zi
6 嫂子 sao3zi
6 妥当 tuo3dang
6 枕头 zhen3tou
6 指甲 zhi3jia
6 种子 zhong3zi

 

T4 + T1
HSK Word Pinyin
2 唱歌 chànggē
2 大家 dàjiā
2 第一 dìyī
2 上班 shàngbān
3 必须 bìxū
3 菜单 càidān
3 衬衫 chènshān
3 蛋糕 dàngāo
3 电梯 diàntī
3 放心 fàngxīn
3 健康 jiànkāng
3 面包 miànbāo
3 认真 rènzhēn
3 一般 yìbān
3 一边 yìbiān
4 差不多 chàbuduō
4 大约 dàyuē
4 放松 fàngsōng
4 害羞 hài xiū
4 互相 hùxiāng
4 降低 jiàngdī
4 竞争 jìngzhēng
4 客厅 kètīng
4 律师 lǜshī
4 耐心 nàixīn
4 现金 xiànjīn
4 信封 xìnfēng
4 信息 xìnxī
4 信心 xìnxīn
4 亚洲 yàzhōu
4 作家 zuòjiā
5 爱惜 àixī
5 爱心 àixīn
5 不安 bù’ān
5 刺激 cìjī
5 措施 cuòshī
5 地区 dìqū
5 对方 duìfāng
5 冠军 guànjūn
5 过期 guòqī
5 健身 jiànshēn
5 据说 jùshuō
5 客观 kèguān
5 辣椒 làjiāo
5 乐观 lèguān
5 利息 lìxī
5 列车 lièchē
5 录音 lùyīn
5 蜜蜂 mìfēng
5 面积 miànjī

 

T4 + T2
HSK Word Pinyin
2 面条 miàntiáo
2 去年 qùnián
2 问题 wèntí
3 地图 dìtú
3 复习 fùxí
3 后来 hòulái
3 季节 jìjié
3 客人 kèrén
3 练习 liànxí
3 热情 rèqíng
3 认为 rènwéi
3 数学 shùxué
3 太阳 tàiyáng
3 特别 tèbié
3 一直 yìzhí
4 爱情 àiqíng
4 按时 ànshí
4 报名 bào míng
4 地球 dìqiú
4 调查 diàochá
4 对于 duìyú
4 负责 fùzé
4 复杂 fùzá
4 共同 gòngtóng
4 过程 guòchéng
4 获得 huòdé
4 既然 jìrán
4 价格 jiàgé
4 进行 jìnxíng
4 竟然 jìngrán
4 拒绝 jùjué
4 距离 jùlí
4 例如 lìrú
4 内容 nèiróng
4 确实 quèshí
4 任何 rènhé
4 适合 shìhé
4 橡皮 xiàngpí
4 幸福 xìngfú
4 性别 xìngbié
4 性格 xìnggé
4 预习 yùxí
4 阅读 yuèdú
4 暂时 zànshí
4 正常 zhèngcháng
4 证明 zhèngmíng
4 著名 zhùmíng
4 自然 zìrán
5 必然 bìrán
5 病毒 bìngdú

 

T4 + T3
HSK Word Pinyin
1 电脑 diànnǎo
1 电影 diànyǐng
1 对不起 duìbuqǐ
1 汉语 hànyǔ
1 上午 shàngwǔ
1 下午 xiàwǔ
1 下雨 xiàyǔ
1 一点儿 yìdiǎnr
2 报纸 bàozhǐ
2 跳舞 tiàowǔ
2 一起 yìqǐ
3 办法 bànfǎ
3 地铁 dìtiě
3 或者 huòzhě
3 历史 lìshǐ
3 上网 shàngwǎng
3 校长 xiàozhǎng
3 自己 zìjǐ
4 并且 bìngqiě
4 不管 bùguǎn
4 不仅 bùjǐn
4 厕所 cèsuǒ
4 到底 dào dǐ
4 地点 dìdiǎn
4 地址 dìzhǐ
4 付款 fù kuǎn
4 号码 hàomǎ
4 后悔 hòuhuǐ
4 记者 jìzhě
4 禁止 jìnzhǐ
4 看法 kànfǎ
4 密码 mìmǎ
4 入口 rùkǒu
4 是否 shìfǒu
4 特点 tèdiǎn
4 效果 xiàoguǒ
4 正好 zhènghǎo
4 至少 zhìshǎo
4 重点 zhòngdiǎn
4 最好 zuìhǎo
4 作者 zuòzhě
5 办理 bànlǐ
5 傍晚 bàngwǎn
5 背景 bèijǐng
5 避免 bìmiǎn
5 彻底 chèdǐ
5 翅膀 chìbǎng
5 促使 cùshǐ
5 代表 dàibiǎo
5 贷款 dài kuǎn

 

T4 + T4
HSK Word Pinyin
1 电视 diànshì
1 饭店 fàndiàn
1 看见 kànjiàn
1 睡觉 shuìjiào
1 现在 xiànzài
1 再见 zàijiàn
2 但是 dànshì
2 教室 jiàoshì
2 介绍 jièshào
2 快乐 kuàilè
2 运动 yùndòng
2 正在 zhèngzài
3 爱好 àihào
3 变化 biànhuà
3 动物 dòngwù
3 锻炼 duànliàn
3 附近 fùjìn
3 过去 guòqù
3 害怕 hàipà
3 护照 hùzhào
3 会议 huìyì
3 见面 jiànmiàn
3 世界 shìjiè
3 忘记 wàngjì
3 遇到 yùdào
3 愿意 yuànyì
3 照片 zhàopiàn
3 重要 zhòngyào
3 注意 zhùyì
3 最后 zuìhòu
3 最近 zuìjìn
3 作业 zuòyè
4 按照 ànzhào
4 抱歉 bàoqiàn
4 毕业 bì yè
4 错误 cuòwù
4 大概 dàgài
4 到处 dàochù
4 道歉 dàoqiàn
4 动作 dòngzuò
4 对话 duìhuà
4 对面 duìmiàn
4 放弃 fàngqì
4 复印 fùyìn
4 购物 gòuwù
4 故意 gùyì
4 顾客 gùkè
4 计划 jìhuà
4 技术 jìshù
4 继续 jìxù

 

T4 + T0
HSK Word Pinyin
1 爸爸 bàba
1 后面 hòumian
1 漂亮 piàoliang
1 认识 rènshi
1 谢谢 xièxie
2 弟弟 dìdi
2 告诉 gàosu
2 妹妹 mèimei
2 事情 shìqing
2 意思 yìsi
2 右边 yòubian
2 丈夫 zhàngfu
3 地方 dìfang
3 个子 gèzi
3 故事 gùshi
3 记得 jìde
3 句子 jùzi
3 裤子 kùzi
3 筷子 kuàizi
3 帽子 màozi
3 为了 wèile
3 月亮 yuèliang
3 照顾 zhàogu
4 部分 bùfen
4 大夫 dàifu
4 肚子 dùzi
4 父亲 fùqin
4 护士 hùshi
4 镜子 jìngzi
4 困难 kùnnan
4 力气 lìqi
4 厉害 lìhai
4 热闹 rènao
4 任务 rènwu
4 态度 tàidu
4 袜子 wàzi
4 味道 wèidao
4 笑话 xiàohua
4 样子 yàngzi
4 要是 yàoshi
4 钥匙 yàoshi
4 叶子 yèzi
5 被子 bèizi
5 大方 dàfang
5 地道 dìdao
5 豆腐 dòufu
5 教训 jiàoxun
5 戒指 jièzhi
5 舅舅 jiùjiu
5 力量 lìliang

10 comments

  1. David Feigelson says:

    Hi Olle,

    My belief is that the more one isolates tones from everyday conversation, the less one is able to use proper tones in conversation. Even just reading conversational dui hua over and over with the accompanying recording is more beneficial than isolating words, in my opinion.

  2. george says:

    Interesting and useful lists. I am happy you posted the list in the article as the downloads seem not to work with Libre Office in Linux (maybe just Windows)

    I can cut and paste to get around the problem.

    1. george says:

      Resolved the Linux/Libre Office issue… had to load fonts.

      At 167 pages in PDF form, the list is exhaustive. I suspect that it needs to be broken down into something like 5 levels of frequency of use to really help learner.

      The formats you provide allow someone to do exactly that. But one would have to find an exhaustive frequency of use reference to collate.

      1. george says:

        At the TOCFL site, located 8000 words broken out into 4 levels in PDF files… bot not sorted by pairs.

        Very useful for some forms of review, and could be applied to the pair files in excel for more usefullness.

      2. Olle Linge says:

        I’m not sure what you mean! The TOCFL lists seem to work properly here. They are already broken down into five levels of the test and they are sorted by tone combination. Can you please be more specific with what isn’t working or what needs to be done? It seems to look as designed here.

  3. This is a nice article related to the topic of a book that I published last year. I think we think alike when it comes to helping others learn Chinese. In my book I list a large number of words in each 2-character tone combination (16) and each 3-character tone combinations (64) containing more than 3100 samples with recordings.
    But one thing you’re missing in this analysis is the uneven distribution of tones from Ancient Chinese. In my book, for each sample I demonstrate the movement of the original tone (one of eight) into Modern Mandarin and also show the loss of -p -t -k -c endings wherever those characters show up. This is a helpful reference to anyone who wants to continue on to learn other Chinese languages like Southern Min that still retain these differences.
    The book is mostly a tool for practicing pronunciation but I hope it also becomes a useful reference tool, and can still be found as a free download on my website.
    -Mike Campbell

  4. vincoro says:

    “but since most people probably don’t need that” Well, it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for for a long time. I’ve got a huge list of vocabulary on my computer, and I feel like sorting them by tone would be amazingly helpful. Is there anyway this could be made available, or maybe you know of a similar program that could pull this of?
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Olle Linge says:

      If you look in the paragraph above the one you cited, there is a link to the script on GitHub.

      1. vincoro says:

        All right, after playing around a bit with the script, I think I’m not tech savvy enough to really get what I have to do… I don’t really know how to tell the script which file it needs sort into tones, and how to get a file which has the lay-out the script wants (two fields, annotated with pinyin etc.), I’ve just got a huge CSV file with words, but no pinyin. It would be awesome if I could make it work however.

Comments are closed.