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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
HSKWordPinyin
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
HSKWordPinyin
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
HSKWordPinyin
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
HSKWordPinyin
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
HSKWordPinyin
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
HSKWordPinyin
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
HSKWordPinyin
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
HSKWordPinyin
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
HSKWordPinyin
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
HSKWordPinyin
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
HSKWordPinyin
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
HSKWordPinyin
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
HSKWordPinyin
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
HSKWordPinyin
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
HSKWordPinyin
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
HSKWordPinyin
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
HSKWordPinyin
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
HSKWordPinyin
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
HSKWordPinyin
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
HSKWordPinyin
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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

T2 + T1
HSKWordPinyin
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
5农村nóngcūn
5平安píng’ān
5平方píngfāng
5平均píngjūn
5燃烧ránshāo
5人生rénshēng
5如今rújīn
5时差shíchā
5时期shíqī
5随身suíshēn
5台阶táijiē
5提纲tígāng
5投资tóu zī
5围巾wéijīn
5唯一wéiyī
5维修wéixiū
5迎接yíngjiē
5员工yuángōng

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7 Responses to Focusing on tone pairs to improve your Mandarin pronunciation

  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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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. […] got this list of tone-sorted HSK vocab here. My first step was to filter out all the words I recognized. (Note: recognized isn’t the same as […]

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