iOS Users: Please click here for the latest information: (updated 5.10.2016)
Say It Right Series

Consecutive 3rd Tones

Posted by calkins September 9, 2008 in the Group General Discussion.

Tags: consecutive 3rd tones

It has always been my understanding, that when you have 2 consectutive 3rd tones (i.e. 美女 mei3 nv3 - beautiful woman), that the first word's tone becomes a 2nd tone (i.e. mei2 nv3).

I recently had a conversation with a friend from Beijing and after he pronounced 美女 as mei3 nv3, I asked him about the consecutive 3rd tone rule.  He said "No way, never."  He said that if you changed the first word to a 2nd tone, then "beautiful woman" would become 霉女 mei2 nv3...."moldy woman"! 

I want to beleive him because he is an authority, but it goes against everything I've learned.  I would just assume that you would know the meaning based on the context.

Can anyone shed some light?

Comments (6) RSS

loading... Updating ...

To comment, please login.

Not sure if your comment is appropriate? Check our Commenting Policy first.

New lesson idea? Please contact us.