Chinese Lesson: The Fifth / Neutral Tone

The fifth tone in Chinese is a soft, short “neutral” tone, also called the “staccato” tone (for its soft sound), the “zeroth” tone or the “light” tone.

It’s basically like the first tone but much shorter in duration.

The best way to learn this is through hearing it and hearing it described, the video and audio below do this:

As with all tones in Chinese, while the tone does directly affect the meaning of individual words, the tone that any particular word has in modern Chinese is merely a coincidence of the evolution of the language and has no particular significance.

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