Lessons on tones
I think there should be lessons about tones in the Chinese course. There should be "select what you hear" tasks whose words only differ in their tones.
All the tones in this lesson should be correct, of course.
The sentences should be along those lines:
(Feel free to correct the mistakes that I've surely made)
A few corrections:
Sentence 1 could be misleading for those unfamiliar with the tone system in Standard Putonghua. Officially, there are four tones plus the neutral tone, which doesn't count as a real tone. Phonologically speaking, of course, each tone (as well as the neutral tone) has multiple forms and values depending on what it is preceded and succeeded by, but that is rather out of our sphere of concern.
Sentence 2 would be better as: “马” 读(第)三声。
Sentence 3 grates on my ears but I can't say what specifically is incorrect and not just unnatural wording.
Sentence 4 brings to mind the frequently used tongue twister: