After learning Hangul – korean characters, the next step is to learn its’ structure – syllables. It is different from how we made our words.
We are used to create words by combining letter after letter. But in Korean it is different.
Korean words are made of syllables. And syllables are made from Hangul characters, which you have learned already.
Structure of Korean syllables
Korean syllable always starts with a consonant. The second one always is a vowel. And the third one – can be empty or consonant.
These syllables can contain only 3 or 2 character spots. No more or no less.
In that one spot can be single character (i.e. ㄱ) or double character (i.e. ㄲ).
Here is an example:
C – means consonant
V – means vowel
1,2,3 – position (or spot)
As you can see in example above, the 1st and the 2nd one uses 3 spots of Hangul characters, the 3rd and the 4th one – only 2 spots.
Three Major Rules
- A “vertical vowel” (one of the tall and narrow vowels: ㅏㅑㅐㅒㅓㅕㅔㅖㅣ) is always written to the right of the first consonant in the syllable: 가 (ga).
- A “horizontal vowel” (one of the wide and short vowels: ㅗㅛㅜㅠㅡ) is always written under the first consonant in the syllable: 노 (no).
- If there is a final (3rd spot) consonant in the syllable, it always goes on the bottom: 각 (gak), 녹 (nok).