Chinese Tongue Twister – Mom Rides a Horse

In the video the husband tries to master the four tones of “ma.”

In the process, he made a lot of mistakes. But with the help of his wife, he gradually mastered the four tones.

Is it really so hard to master Chinese tones?

Today we will introduce an easy and interesting tongue twister- “Mom Rides a Horse” to help you learn the four tones in the Chinese language.

Tongue Twister

Māma qí  mǎ, mǎ màn, māma mà mǎ.
Mom rides a horse. The horse is slow. Mom scolds the horse.

1. 妈    noun    mā    mother

The first tone is high and flat. The pitch should be high and held constant.

2. 骑    verb  qí to ride

The second tone is a raising tone.

3. 马    noun    mǎ   horse

The third tone drops low then rises. Be sure to let it drop low.

4. 骂    verb mà     to scold

The forth tone is sharp and falling.


1. Which of following pinyin matches its pronunciation?
A. mà

B. má

C. mǎ

2. Which of the following tones is the second tone?

A. mā

B. má

C. mà

3. The correct tone for “妈妈” is ___.
A. māmá

B. māmǎ

C. māma


Further practice the four tones with video exercises by clicking:
See answer
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