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The Tone Changes Rules of “不”

1. 不 is a 4th tone syllable by itself.

不 (bù)

2. The tone doesn’t change when 不 is followed by a 1st tone, 2nd tone or 3rd tone syllable.

e.g.

不 + 1st Tone 不吃 (bù chī)
不 + 2nd Tone 不行 (bù xíng)
不 + 3rd Tone 不想 (bù xiǎng)

3. 不 becomes the 2nd tone when it’s followed by a 4th tone syllable.

e.g.

不 + 4th Tone 不要 (bú yào)

4. When 不 is in the between of “A 不 A” pattern phrase,不 will be the neutral tone.

e.g.

A  不  A 好不好 (hǎo bu hǎo)

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