Word Pattern and Basic Vowels

In most Korean books I read, the characters are discussed only after the common phrases are introduced. There may be a scientific explanation about this.  When I gained interest in learning Hangul, I immediately checked on the characters and its near equivalent to the alphabet.  Most books say you need to hear how the words are pronounced by native Korean speakers <this is another tough task–to find a native speaker> .  I must say I have memorized the characters at least the basic ones. 

ㅏ (a) as in ant

ㅓ (eo) as hot

ㅗ (aw) as in toe

ㅜ (oo) as in loo

ㅡ (u) short uh sound as in put

ㅣ (i) as in feet

ㅐ (ae) as in apple

ㅔ (e) as in pet

There are other vowels aside from these.  In fact they have more vowels than consonants.  From my readings words seemed to be formed by sound.

Word for the day starts with the ㅏ sound.  아버지 (a-beo-ji) means father.  Note that the word actually starts with the ㅇ  character which is actually classified as consonant in Hangul.  When i was doing initial self study I learned that the pattern per block is Consonant-Vowel-Consonant (C-V-C) and in some cases could be C-V-C-C.  I noticed that if the word has to start with a vowel sound, ㅇ  is present.  Then I learned that this character is actually silent in terms of pronunciation and will only have a sound if its used as final consonant in a word.  In such cases ㅇ  becomes ‘ng’ in sound such as the word 사랑 (sa-rang) then C-V-C pattern still applies.


6 Replies to “Word Pattern and Basic Vowels”

  1. hi..

    thank you so much for sharing your knowledge about korean language.

    I’ve been searching for a korean website that will teach me how to speak korean and then i found this site. Of all the site i found, this is the best!.

    I never knew that you’re a filipino.


    I already know how to read Hangul but i’m having a hard time constructing korean sentences and this site comes in handy.

    …you are studying in UP??
    I want to enroll too, is it expensive??

  2. i agree!
    i’ve been wasting weeks already searching for a website to teach me hangul..I this one’s the best so far! (Psyched to know people behind this is a Filipino!..


  3. Hi as you said the pattern per block in C-V-C but in this word 사랑 (sa-rang) there is all 3 elements C,V and C inside (rang) but it there any rule in how it is ordered? cause in this 랑 the top two characters are the Consonants and the o at the bottom is Vowel. Also is there anywhere I can search online for full list of hangul characters? I think I am better off studying them one by one first then learn how to form them into words.

    1. you can check my post on hangul characters. 사 (sa) is C-V then 랑 (rang) is CVC. ㅅ(s) ㅏ (a) then ㄹ (r) ㅏ (a) ㅇ (ng). I didn’t get your question on how it is ordered because the C-V-C-C is the order of the characters when forming a block, i mean this is the maximum because you can also have C-V-C or just C-V. When you are trying to write a borrowed or foreign word in Hangul, it is essential that you break the word in syllables and follow this rule.

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