Is there any rule relating to ㅣ+ㅓ = ㅔ notㅐ? If we change the order of the combination then it makes sense to have ㅓ+ㅣ= ㅔ.

I have just come across a list as below. I'd like to know if there is any rule for this or should we memorize them by hard?

ㅣ + ㅔ => ㅖ

ㅣ + ㅐ => ㅒ

ㅣ + ㅏ => ㅑ

ㅣ + ㅗ => ㅛ

ㅣ + ㅓ => ㅕ

ㅜ + ㅣ => ㅟ

ㅜ + ㅔ => ㅞ

ㅗ + ㅐ => ㅙ

ㅗ + ㅏ => ㅘ

ㅜ + ㅓ => ㅝ

ㅡ + ㅣ => ㅢ

  • Where is this list from? Do you have any example words or phrases which utilize some of these combinations?
    – user17915
    Nov 1, 2017 at 8:51
  • 1
    I have no idea what this question means...
    – jick
    Nov 5, 2017 at 21:06

2 Answers 2


Most of the time when combining vowels, the left side of the addition goes on the left side, and the right goes on the right. For example:

ㅗ + ㅏ => ㅘ

ㅜ + ㅣ => ㅟ

ㅡ + ㅣ => ㅢ

The list that you found is rather peculiar. Technically, the first 5 examples are deceiving. From what I'm deducing, you should treat as a . or a small . When a vowel already has a protruding little line, then adding the . or small results in another protruding little line next to the previous one, making the vowel sound like it begins with a "y".

The reason why I'm referring to a . is because when Korean alphabet was first introduced, the protruding parts were referred as a dot like in the image below.

enter image description here

  • Thanks. How do you determine what is left and what is right here? You said "Most of the time when combining vowels, the left side of the addition goes on the left side, and the right goes on the right". For example, in ㅗ + ㅏ is left and is right. However, we can also change the order of them ㅏ+ ㅗ is left and is right.
    – emnha
    Nov 10, 2017 at 11:41
  • Everything under the consonant, mainly ㅡ, ㅗ, ㅜ will always go on the left side, the exception would be when you're adding another 'protrusion'. Because when writing Korean vowels, they go on the right/bottom side of the syllable. When you type in ㄱ + ㅗ + ㅏ you'll get , however if you type in ㄱ + ㅏ + ㅗ you get 가ㅗ. The 'rule' is derived from the order which things are written. Hope this helps. Nov 10, 2017 at 17:50
  • The comment I made about "most of the time...." is because of the protrusion concept. For protrusions, instead of thinking it like left and right, think of it more as this: y + ah = yah . + ㅏ = ㅑ Other than the example given, everything else follows the left is on the left pattern. Just keep in mind that the vowels that go on the bottom will not go on the right side unless the 'protrusion'. Nov 10, 2017 at 17:55

When combining Korean character ㅣ with other vowels, it is always put at the end of the other vowel.

ㅣ + ㅗ => ㅛ is not correct, it is actually ㅗ + ㅣ => ㅚ

ㅣ + ㅏ => ㅑ is also not correct, it is ㅏ + ㅣ => ㅐ

like this ㅓ+ㅣ should be ㅔ

  • That works but are you saying that the list I posted above is wrong? In your example ㅣ+ㅏ => ㅐ but from the list it is ㅣ + ㅏ => ㅑ.
    – emnha
    Nov 10, 2017 at 11:37

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