I'm new to Chinese so please forgive me if this question it's dumb. I read this frase on a lyrics' song:


And when I search for the pinyin I got this:

wo3 ha3o xia3ng ni3

I know a little bit about tone-shifting and I think that when the there are two third tones together the first one change to a second tone. An example:

你好 ni3 ha3o changes to ni2 ha3o

So, in my case, how do tones shift?

  • 1
    see previous Q&A, e.g. Should tone sandhi be written in pinyin? chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/26746/…
    – user6065
    Dec 1, 2017 at 5:38
  • When two third-tone characters joint together, the first character changes to second tone. If three character with third tone, the first two characters change to second tone. If more than three characters with third tone, the rule depends how the words separated.
    – xenophōn
    Dec 1, 2017 at 7:13
  • It seems you are not only new to Chinese, but also to English. No offense. ( ̄∇ ̄) Dec 1, 2017 at 17:37

3 Answers 3


wo2 ha3o xia2ng ni3, in chinese, it's called as "上声变调"


Just divide the characters into pairs("我好" and "想你" in your case), and apply the tone-shifting rule on each pair.

so it becomes:

wo2 ha3o xia2ng ni3

More examples:

尺有所短 chi2 you3 suo2 duan3

岂有此理 qi2 you3 i2 li3

有板有眼 you2 ban3 you2 yan3


When "好" is emphasized, the shift is not needed. Try to break the sentence into meaningful bricks, and each brick has a stressed character (without tone shift).

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