Consonant Vowel Sequences in Spoken Korean

Posted: 2010-06-03 / Updated: 2018-02-07

A lot of Korean grammatical rules are related to the fact that a sequence of sound is easier to pronounce when it is in a consonant-vowel sequence, i.e., when you don’t have to pronounce 2 consonants or 2 vowels in a row.

For example, a lot of Korean Honorific Speech and Speech Levels in Korean come with 2 choices, one with a beginning consonant and one without. When a word ends with a vowel, the particle with a beginning consonant is usually chosen to attach to this word. When a word ends with a consonant, the particle without beginning consonant is usually chosen instead. It keeps the consonant-vowel alternate sequence as long as possible.

Another example is that when modifying verbs or adjectives, Korean Verb and Adjective Conjugation between the stem of the word and the attaching suffix to make sure the consonant-vowel sequence is preserved.

You will come across with a lot of grammar points having such a characteristic, but there are exceptions, so you will need to identify the appropriate choice on a case-by-case basis.

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