I understand what to do if you have a series of 3 third tones, and the rules are well explained here. But what about 4 third tones in a row?
I'm guessing it would be wó yě xiáng mǎi Would that be correct?
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It might be subtle, the series of tones would be 2-半三声-2-3. (半三声 means only the first half of the 3rd tone, without the rising tone part.)
Firstly 我也想买 could be separated as 我(也(想买)), and according to the rule about the 3rd tone sandhi, rule #4.1 (for 也(想买)) and #2 (for 我(...)) match and then leads to 2-半三声-2-3.
The Chinese pinyin system includes three parts: shengmu (initial), yunmu (final), and shenɡdiào (tones), and the tones in Mandarin are very important. Even if the initial and final are the same but have a different tone, the meaning will be different. So if you really want to master this language, you must learn to make each tone very clearly, otherwise you may not be understood by Chinese speakers.
The first tone should be high and flat without any change. The mark is “-” . The second tone should go up, as when asking a question. The mark is “/”. The third tone goes down first then up. The mark is “√”. The forth tone goes from top to bottom. The mark is “\”. The natural tone should be very light and short; there is no mark for it.
When you practice the tones, here are some tips to help you:
Read all the same tones together in order to remember the position of tones. In the beginning should be a single word, then a phrase, and last the whole sentence.
For example, practice for the third tone:
Single word: wǒ 我(I); kǎ 卡(card); děnɡ 等(wait) Phrase: nǐhǎo 你好 (hello); shǒubiǎo 手表 (watch); xiǎojiě 小姐 (Miss) Sentence: Wǒ xiǎnɡ mǎi shuǐɡuǒ。我想买水果 。
1+2: jīnnián 今年 (this year) 1+3: duōshǎo 多少 (how much) 1+4: jīpiào 机票 (ticket) 2+1: huíjiā 回家 (go home) 4+4+3: duìbùqǐ 对不起 (sorry)
Listen to the tape and follow with the video to make sure your own pronunciation is correct. Watch Chinese drama and TV show, to see how did the Chinese talk.