起来 (Tones and general usage)

Dear Skritter community,

after recently taking up my Chinese studies again, I have come across the different uses of 起来. From what I can grasp there are three different uses of the word as outlined below. While the vocabs are fairly easy
to remember, I seem to be unable to “crack” the code behind the tones. Hence my question: Are all of the below tones correct (I presume not)? If indeed yes, are there any regularities that I’m missing out on?

起来 - qi3 lai5 - to stand up

  1. Passive voice
    吃起来 - chi1 qi3 lai5 - to taste
    尝起来 - chang2 qi3 lai2 - to taste
    喝起来 - he1 qi3 lai5 - to taste
    看起来 - kan4 qi3 lai2 - to look
    听起来 - ting1 qi5 lai5 - to sound
    闻起来 - wen2 qi3 lai5 - to smell
    摸起来 - mo1 qi3 lai5 - to feel
    用起来 - yong4 qi3 lai5 - to apply (<- I am slightly uneasy about this one in general, what’s its correct use?)

  2. Indication of upward movement
    站起来 - zhang4 qi3 lai5 - to stand up
    捡起来 - jian3 qi3 lai2 - to pick up
    举起来 - ju3 qi3 lai2 - to lift

  3. Indication of putting something together
    包起来 - bao1 qi3 lai2 - to pack together
    收起来 - shou1 qi3 lai5 - to pack away
    加起来 - jia1 qi5 lai5 - to sum up

I would strongly appreciate your feedback as I currently have no mother-tongue speakers around me (picking up lessons, once I’m satisfied with my writing skills again).

Thanks a lot!

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I’ve wondered about tones for a while, and it is super confusing! I thought they were all qi5lai5, but Zhongwen popup dictionary (Chrome) lists the suffix 起来 as qi5lai5 but the phrase 看起来 as kan4qi3lai2, and on their grammar pages (See below) they seem to use qi3lai2 in compounds too. Would definitely appreciate some more experienced input…

http://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/起来?utm_source=zhongwen&utm_medium=extension&utm_campaign=wiki

Edit: forgot to add that the popup dictionary comes from the (usually reputable?) MDBG which also lists 起来 as a suffix as qi5lai5 and 看起来 as kan4qi3lai2 http://www.mdbg.net/chindict/chindict.php?page=worddict&wdrst=0&wdqtm=0&wdqcham=1&wdqt=qilai
and even more confusingly the two dictionaries I have in Pleco (PLC and CC) say qi3lai2 and qi5lai5 respectively. So confused!

Thanks for your links, I completely forgot about the grammar overview at allsetlearning. Apparently what I assumed to be an indicator of passive voice rather is an indicator for initial judgement (although I still think that some of the above verbs change their voice along with it). But nevertheless - as you pointed out - this does not really help regarding tones.

After studying the relevant materials in the 现代汉语词典, I come to the following conclusion.

In all of the following usages, the reading is qi5lai5.

  1. After a verb to indicate an upward movement
    站起来、捡起来、举起来
  2. After a verb or an adjective to indicate the beginning or continuation of an action or condition
    笑起来、唱起来、暖和起来
  3. After a verb to indicate the end of the action, or the purpose of the action has been achieved
    包起来、收起来、加起来
  4. After a verb as an indicator of preliminary judgment
    吃起来、尝起来、喝起来、看起来、听起来、闻起来、摸起来、用起来

Only when 起来 is not after another verb or adjective, then it is qi3lai5.
起来吧。
我8点钟起来。

6 Likes

That sounds plausible and easy enough for me. Thanks a lot for your efforts! 谢谢!
Maybe someone from the Skritter team could adapt the tones of the listed words in the database?

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Thanks a lot @pts, very helpful and easy to remember.

Also I agree with @1114 that if the Skritter gods come to the same consensus and change their dictionary it will be very helpful (even if the other dictionaries I use still disagree).

I have now gone through all the examples mentioned in this thread and fixed those that weren’t consistent with 现代汉语词典. That doesn’t mean that all other cases are correct, so please help out by reporting any errors you might find.

The inconsistencies are of course there because most of these are added by individual users who don’t know about or don’t necessarily care about the standard we use. Most of these are normally pronounced with a full tone in Taiwan, for instance. Also note that in many cases (on the internet in general), Pinyin is automatically generated and the tones are off quite often.

Anyway, good question! Thanks to @pts for checking the dictionary, too.

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@SkritterOlle: A quick check on my lists yields that most word’s tone are now qi3lai5 (rather than qi5lai5 as hinted by @pts). Could you kindly re-confirm this to be correct? Moreover, 听起来, 看起来 and 加起来 have not been standardized yet. And not to be overly pendantic, but 看起来 is the only one in the list with a blank space in pinyin :wink:

Thanks for everyone’s guidance, help and correction!

Currenct extract from my list:
吃起来 chīqǐlai
尝起来 chángqǐlai
喝起来 hēqǐlai
看起来 kàn qǐlái
听起来 tīngqilai
闻起来 wénqǐlai
摸起来 mōqǐlai
站起来 zhànqǐlai
捡起来 jiǎnqǐlai
举起来 jǔqǐlai
用起来 yòngqǐlai
包起来 bāoqǐlai
收起来 shōuqǐlai
加起来 jiāqilai

I forgot to say that the changes might not propagate immediately! In our system, I think all the words listed here follow what @pts wrote, but it might take until tomorrow until the update takes effect everywhere and you might have to clear local data, too. And the two entries on 起来 are pretty clear, I think, I read it the same way as @pts wrote. I also removed the extra space for you. :slight_smile:

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@SkritterOlle: Thanks a lot for standardizing the vocabs in the system. One minor detail: In 尝起来 the tone on the second character was changed to the fourth tone instead to the fifth.

@1114 Sorry, too quick there, I have fixed the Pinyin now.