I am completely new to Korean, so this question might just be the result of me hearing sounds incorrectly.

I watched FluentForever’s videos on pronunciation and spelling rules to get a first approach to reading Korean. Starting at around 6:20 they explain how several spelling rules can lay on top of another. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcvADOTNVzM)

They then explain why 꽃아니요 is pronounced [ko.da.ni.jo] rather than [kot]+[a.ni.jo]. However, while studying I came across this sentence: 네, 맞아요. Especially troubling for me is the pronunciation of 맞아요, as it doesn’t sound like [ma.da.jo] but rather like [ma.dza.jo] to me. (https://de.forvo.com/search/%EB%A7%9E%EC%95%84%EC%9A%94/) .

I found out that 맞아요 is a conjugated form of 맞다. I just don’t know if that has anything to do with this issue. I am aware of the fact that we're dealing with two different consonants here, however, according to the rules in the linked video, both should be turned into an unrealised [t] sound and then, due to another rule be turned into [d].

So my question is, why does ㅈ sound like a [dz] in 맞아요, but ㅊ like a [d] in 꽃아니요.

  • You heard it spot on. Man, that's some amazing attention to detail. Aug 23, 2022 at 8:33

1 Answer 1


The simple answer is that while 맞아요 is a conjugated verb and works as a single word, 꽃아니요 is in fact two words; "꽃" (noun), "아니요" (negative copula) (as explained in the linked video).

So the "ㅊ" sound at the end of 꽃 is finalized as /ㄷ/ and then as it's directly followed by a vowel, it "fills in" the empty initial consonant (like liaisons in French).

  • 꽃 아니요 -> /꼳/ . /ㅏ니ㅛ/ -> /꼬다니ㅛ/

(Of course, you can put a pause between two words to make a more clear separation between two words /꼳.ㅏ니ㅛ/)

While in the case of 맞아요, the whole thing is a single word. So the "ㅈ" sound at the end of the first character is only finalized after the conjugation, combined with the following vowel.

Similarly, when 꽃 is combined with other suffixes to form a larger, grammatically different word, we can see the ㅊ sound behave in the same way. For example;

  • 꽃 + -이 (subjective case marker) = 꽃이 /꼬치/
  • 꽃 + -을 (objective case marker) = 꽃을 /꼬츨/

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