The pinyin for 人 is rén but when it's part of 大人, it's written as dà ren. This is the only word with 人 where that happens (at least in the list of words I went through). Why is there a change in tone?


1 Answer 1


Google Translate: 人 / rén/ ; 大人 /dàrén/. I don't see the different pinyin for 人


CantoDict :


大人 /da4 ren5/2/

(1) adult; grown-up

(2) Your Honour; Your Excellency

(3) [literary] Dear (Father/Mother)

(4) great man; person of high rank or noble mind


1: Pinyin da4 ren5 is used for first two meanings; da4 ren2 for latter two.

2: "Your Honour" is mainly used on a judge.

In Mandarin:

  • 人 on its own is pronounced as /rén/

  • When 大人 meant "adult" or "your Honour" 人 is pronounced as /ren/.

  • When 大人 meant "Dear" or "great man" 人 pronounced as /rén/

So, you only need to remember 人 pronounces differently as /ren/ only when you mean to say 大人(adult) or 大人 (your Honour). In all other instances 人 is pronounced as /rén/

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.