I started studying Korean a few days ago though this site https://www.howtostudykorean.com and in the first few lessons it taught me to pronounce ㅆ as 'ss'. But then I reached lesson 5 and listened to this recording https://www.howtostudykorean.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Lesson-5-6-I-ate-rice.mp3 of this example:

나는 밥을 먹었다

And she clearly says "mokotta" and not "mokossta". So where is that ㅆ? I studied Japanese beforehand so I'm assuming ㅆ is actually more like っつ? Maybe at the end of a syllable it becomes something like っ?


ㅆ here is a 받침 , which means the "end" consonant in a syllable block. For example, in 먹 the 받침 is ㄱ. If the next syllable does not start with a vowel, such as 다, (or it is the last syllable) this syllable (if it has a 받침) is not pronounced normally. Instead, it is pronounced like an unreleased stop ([t], [k],[p], [n] etc.) based on the place of the sound. Since ㅆ is a dental/alveolar sound (the tongue is near the teeth), it becomes a dental stop here [t]. Since the next sound is 다, this means there are two "t" sounds, causing it to be a tense sound "tt"

  • Can you add an explanation of 있는? Is the first syllable pronounced as 인 or as 이 or something else?
    – OmarL
    Jan 2 '18 at 18:52
  • @Wilson 있는 is pronounced as 인는 because of the nasal assimilation. The process can be shown as 있는 → [읻]는 → [인는]. The correct romanization of 있는 for general purposes is inneun (or in-neun) not itneun.
    – Klmo
    Aug 13 '19 at 13:12

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.