Where do the tone marks go?

Even those familiar with pinyin are often uncertain about which in a string of vowels takes the tone mark. If, for example, you are given "ni3 hao3 huai4" -- is it Ni hao huai (Answer: the first choice.)

Fortunately there are no ambiguities to worry about, even where there are several vowels in a row. Here are the rules:

The possible vowel combinations are listed below, with the vowel that receives the tone marked as second tone.

chart of vowel combinations and tone marks

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