女 (woman) + 子 (child) = 好 (good). "The widely accepted meaning of this character is that the characters for 'female' (女) and 'child' (子) were put together to form a compound because it was good for a woman to have a child. Similarly, it has been proposed that the compound originally refers to the mutual affection between the mother and child, which then extended to mean 'good'. These theories are supported by the smaller 子 found in some oracle bones and bronze inscriptions." Source: https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/好
Not really，there are different sentence structures for each. For example, 我喜欢看书 and 我的喜好/爱好是阅读 are correct. 读书 carries more of the academic study meaning of read whereas 看书 is reading but here generally taken to mean reading for leisure while 阅读 is reading as a hobby itself.
You're right, it would also be wrong to say the other two. 我喜欢你 is correct.
There are nuances to each phrase i.e. 词 just like each synonym in English means something slightly different and one cannot assumed it will be used in the same way and structure in a sentence.
2nd tone: like a yes/no question e.g. "Oh?" 4th tone: like a declarative e.g. "Oh!" 3rd tone: like an expression of doubt e.g. "Well..." 1st tone doesn't correspond to an intonation contour so directly--which makes it stick out more, in a sense. And I agree with LazyEinstein that 2nd and 3rd are the toughest to distinguish.
It helps to associate the lines on top of the letters with them. 1st tone is a straight line, so it doesn't really change the tone (not sure if there are any English words that 'sound' like it). 2nd tone goes from bottom to top, making it sound like a question sometimes. 3rd tone is in a v-shape, top to bottom to top, which is what is sounds like. It's not easily explained but if you listen to some audio it makes sense why it's a v. And for the 4th tone it just goes from top to bottom, making it sound declarative.
'hāo', 'háo', 'hǎo', 'hào'.
Use earphones on computer for better sound quality, the four tones （第一声、第二声、第三声、第四声，sometimes known as 阴阳上去 or 古代“四声”称为“平上去入“）can be imagined from the markings:
ā for (high and) flat,
á for rising,
ǎ for low then rising (but a different sort of "rising"), and
à for (high and) falling.
The last one, "a" or 轻声 is light.
Listen more, practice speaking or mimicking the audio and you'll be able to distinguish between them easily. :)
Regarding to the tones while spelling Chinese characters, we can simply use a line that show the strength of the air flow from the mouth during spelling. While spelling the level tone, the line is horizontal, the air flow from your mouth keeps constant during the pronunciation. While spelling the rising tone, the air flow from your mouth will gradually go up during the pronunciation, so the line tilts upward. While spelling the falling-rising tone, the air flow gradually becomes weak in strength and back up gradually again, resulting in a curved line which is lower in the middle. And comes the fourth tone, the falling tone, which means the strength of the air flow keeps dropping from a high point, leading to a slope, downward. This is a metaphor of the four tones.
Hi there, 大家好！Here's your Chinese friend who is willing to help! I'm native-born in China and speak quite good English. Feel free to send me an email when you need any help or even when you want someone to chat with in Chinese. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. The language itself is indeed beautiful, and I'm glad to see that there are so many foreign friends here learning my language. I'd feel very honored to help you all! :)
I have unlocked level 4 in "Greeting 1". The previous level 3 had six parts. This one has ten parts and it seems that these are the same exercises repeating over and over. I'm basically going over four Chinese signs in all of their possible combinations. And I have to tell you that it's quite boring.
All these level parts seem like automatically generated by Duolingo on the base of the content of level 1. Is this what the new concept of "Levels" is all about? I'm a little disappointed. I may not have the patience to complete this level (perhaps only to find that the next has 15 parts of the same stuff)... but if there aren't any new exercises, there's no need to artificially make the level structure look deeper.
Since I had some time to reflect on what I wrote, I have to say I apologize if I was a bit harsh in my comments. Yes, it may be a little repetitive in these first lessons, but the intention to add more depth to the lessons is noble and good. Come to think of all the effort that went into organizing all that, especially for complex language like Chinese, I feel humble again and only have to add "Thank you so much, Duolingo!".