(A rule I recall reading has affected how I pronounce words and I want confirmation on whether it is correct.)

When you have a 'character' that ends with a consonant and is followed 'character' that starts with a vowel, then the ending consonant is pronounced with the second 'character' instead of being at the end of the first 'character.' Right?

For example,


  • 빨간 불일 때 길을 건너다. (To cross the street when it is red light.)
    • Would be pronounced as 빨간 "부릴" 때 "기를" 건너다.


  • 입안자 (planner)
    • Would be pronounced as "이반자"

To what extent does this happen? Is it within a word that this is allowed or can it be whenever a character ending in a consonant is followed by a character starting with a vowel?

  • 2
    Korean ㅇ, when used as the final sound (받침), represents a single sound. Don't let the Latin equivalent "ng" fool you: ㅇ cannot be divided into ㄴ+ㄱ. Because it cannot start a syllable (at least in Korean), ㅇ will stay as 받침, so 고양이 will always be pronounced as 고양이.
    – jick
    Jan 9, 2017 at 19:32
  • Thanks for the info! The Latin equivalent did cause this confusion.
    – Amacelia
    Jan 10, 2017 at 0:56

2 Answers 2


Basically when can changeable when there is 받침 in front of it. I think there is exception for certain case, but most of time it will be like that.

For example, doodoomchit


The first one 불일 being pronounced 부릴 is spot on.

As for the second one, I think the example given is too strong a pronunciation. Say this sentence:

Hang on tight.

It could not be pronounced:

Han Kahn tight.

That would be too strong, you see.

You are on the right track with your thinking, though, yes, 받침 (consonant at the end of a syllable) is pronounced through a leading syllable's as if it were the next syllable's leading consonant.

This is called 음의 동화. In fact, I've just found a site that explains the "variances" on this very well, I'll paste the pertinent content:

from https://www.korean.go.kr :

[질문] 장애음 뒤에 유음이 오는 경우 유음이 'ㄴ'으로 소리 나게 하고, 이 비음이 다시 앞에 오는 자음에 영향을 주어 비음화가 된다고 하는데요, 'ㄱ' 경우의 예로 독립 [동닙], 'ㅂ'의 예는 십리 [심니] 등이 있는데,\r 'ㄷ' 경우의 예를 찾을 수가 없는데,\r 그 예가 어떤 것이 있는지요?

[답변] 문의하신 음의 동화는 받침 'ㄱ, ㅂ'과 그 뒤에 연결되는 'ㄹ'의 발음에 관한 것입니다. 관련 규정인 '표준 발음법' 제5장 음의 동화, 제19항, 붙임 조항을 아래에 제시하니, 참고하시기 바랍니다. 받침 'ㄱ, ㅂ' 뒤에 연결되는 'ㄹ'도 [ㄴ]으로 발음한다. 막론[막논→망논] 백리[백니→뱅니] 협력[협녁→혐녁] 십리[십니→심니] (해설: 받침 'ㄱ, ㅂ' 뒤에서 'ㄹ'은 [ㄴ]으로 발음되는데, 그 [ㄴ] 때문에 'ㄱ, ㅂ'은 다시 [ㅇ, ㅁ]으로 역행 동화되어 발음된다. 예컨대 '막론(莫論)'은 '[막논]→[망논]'으로 발음되는 것이다.)

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