I am still trying to memorise tones of Chinese words. In another post I gave a link for 3rd tone words. When I will have written sentences that are easy to remember, I think I will succeed in fixing a lot of my pronunciation.

For other tones, I plan to make sentences with the same pinyin which gives different words. For example, shi gives:

  • With the first tone: to lose, wet, division
  • With the second tone: to pick up, stone, to know
  • With the fourth tone matter, scholar, persimmon

My question is: what are the pinyin most often used for frequently used words?


2 Answers 2


Words do not generally have tones. Characters have tones, and they are integral to the character.

Memorizing batches of characters with certain tones is like memorizing batches of characters with certain pronunciations, that is, rather pointless.

When memorizing a character, you memorize its strokes and components, its pinyin transliterations, its tones (often more than one), and a number of common words formed by it.

  • thank you, i know hanzis alone do not make words, but they keep their tone in the words that they build ( at least for the majority of them ). i know also a few hanzsi can get more than one tone, but they are not so numerous, i feel they are exceptions, am i wrong ?
    – faure
    Feb 17, 2016 at 17:28

Are you asking about what the most common pinyin combinations (e.g. zhang, shui, hu) are? – Maroon yesterday Yes, i am looking for most common pinyin which give a lot of hanzis. it looks like zhang is a good answer thank you so much

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