Is there a rule generally to help remember when we would write double consonants like ㅆ, ㄲ, ㄸ, ㅃ, ㅉ instead of single consonants like ㅅ?

For example, remembering to write 땀 for sweat, and not 담.

Is it just memorization for specific words?

Thank you.


3 Answers 3


There's no rule for when to use ㅆ vs. ㅅ, just as there's no rule for when to use /b/ and when to use /p/ in English - they are separate phonemes, so you just have to memorize it. One thing that is helpful to know is that ㅉ, ㅃ, and ㄸ are never found in the 받침 of a word.

So as you listen more, you will be able to distinguish the sounds that you hear better, and 땀 will sound very different than 담. Then it should be easier to remember.

  • I will upvote this answer if you explain more on the difference of pronunciation between ㄸ and ㄷ
    – user237
    Nov 14, 2016 at 9:49
  • @SuperCoolHandsomeGelBoy use forvo.com . Search for words with ㄸ and ㄷ in them and practice listening to the difference. Nov 15, 2016 at 9:58

ㅅ and ㅆ are similar form, but just ㅅ is ㅅ. ㅆ is ㅆ.

Why milk is milk, not mirk? Your question is same with it. You know, there is no reason.

It is memorization. Right. But anyone don't think 'oh, why milk is milk? As I heard it sound mirk. So it should be mirk. why they write it milk? really confused... I can't understand them.'

I am not good in english so it might be aggresive to hear. But I am not criticize you, be guiltless of natural speaking. Anyway I wish you have less stress for learn the korean :)


Take Juit ㅈ, Chiut ㅊ, and Ssang-juit ㅉ. The first is regular sound without emphasis or action in the pronunciation. The accent mark above it makes Chiut ㅊ and causes more of a Ch sound than the J sound of Juit ㅈ. To understand the Ssang consonants, imagine, just as King Sejong probably meant for it to be, that you have two of them immediately together, like if you were to pronounce the two d's in Daddy (say it like you were a toddler Dah-dee). Can you feel the small pause or closed-then-open accentuation (differing from the full accentuation a Ch sounds makes)?

So when you have Shiut ㅅ and Ssang-shiut ㅆ, the same things happens. The Shiut will have more of a relaxed pronunciation and come out with an Sh sound, whereas the Ssang-shiut ㅆ is going to be more like (at least a bit closer to) the sound of a snake with its high pitched Sss.

The same goes for all of the letters. Digut ㄷ, Tiut ㅌ, and Ssang-digut ㄸgive you (perhaps something close to) D, T, and Dd respectively.

Just remember that the consonant without embellishment is relaxed. With a mark on top it is strong and forced, like an explosion. Doubled, it stops-then-goes like a implosion-stop-pronouncing.

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