For words like 衣服 and 朋友, we can pronounce either with full tones as yi¹fu² and peng²you³, or with neutralized tones of the second syllable like yi¹fu⁰ and peng²you⁰.

Then comes 暖和 which confuses me. In the Taiwanese dictionaries that otherwise show full tones, this word is still spelled as nuan³huo⁰. What would be the tone of 和 if it was not neutralized? Or is this maybe a wrong question; does this syllable 和 huo⁰ only exist in neutral tone?


1 Answer 1


和 read huo has four pronunciations:

  • huō

  • huó

  • huò

  • huo

Liang’an defines neutral huo as:


and gives the following example words:




The definitions of the other pronunciations of huo certainly don’t fit. Why? Well because:

  • huō can only be found in the word 傻傻和和 which means stupid.

  • huó basically only means: to mix with water.

  • huò means to mix or to blend.

But this answer isn’t very satisfying.

Knowing that the 和 in 暖和 is the same as the one in 软和 then we can look back at an entry in ABC:


The given Pinyin for this word is:


Here 和 is marked huó. It fits the idea that sometimes these 和 words are also pronounced he and hé. For instance MOE has the entry:


written as:

nuǎn hé hé

Again: it’s second tone. So if you want an answer with a tone & not just with a neutral tone, the second tone is your best bet.

  • I just stumbled upon another ABC entry that further supports this: the duplicated 暖暖和和 nuǎnnuǎnhuóhuó.
    – gnucchi
    Commented Dec 1, 2019 at 5:41
  • @svenper Is that really in ABC? I don’t see it in my Pleco copy.
    – Mou某
    Commented Dec 1, 2019 at 10:32
  • Oops, I forgot the erhua: 暖暖和和儿〔----兒〕nuǎnnuǎnhuóhuór
    – gnucchi
    Commented Dec 1, 2019 at 16:10

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