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Complex Consonants

In this lesson we will cover Complex Consonants which are pairs of consonants that you already know which can occur ONLY as the final consonant or 받침 (patchim) in a Hangul block.

In many cases one of the two consonants ends up not being pronounced at all. Remember: these 11 special Complex Consonants can ONLY occur as the final consonant. The complex consonants covered here can NEVER occur as the first consonant in a Hangul block.

Before we go any further: Don't worry too much if about these!!! Some are not very common and you will get the hang of the common ones after a little practice.

The 11 complex consonants can be divided into 2 groups:
  • 8 Initial-Consonant-Focussed complex consonants
  • 3 Second-Consonant-Focussed complex consonants.

The 8 Initial-Consonant-Focused Complex Consonants are combinations of 2 consonants. The second consonant can be ignored unless the next syllable starts with a vowel. Here are the rules:

1) Pronounce the first consonant as a pat'chim (받침)
2) Is there a following syllable that starts with the place-holder consonant
Yes: The second syllable replaces the place-holder consonant
No: Ignore the second syllable

Here are the 8 Initial-Consonant-Focused Complex Consonants along with examples. Note that, since only examples 3 & 4 are followed by the place-holder consonant, the second consonant will not be voiced in the other 6 examples:

Pair 1 - ㄳ

Example: 몫

Pair 2 - ㄵ

Example: 앉다

Pair 3 - ㄶ

Example: 많은

Pair 4 - ㄼ

Example: 넓은

Pair 5 - ㄽ

Example: 외곬

Pair 6 - ㄾ

Example: 핥다

Pair 7 - ㅀ

Example: 앓다

Pair 8 - ㅄ

Example: 없는

The 3 Second-Consosnant-Focused Complex Consonants are combinations of 2 consonants where the first consonant is not pronounced and only the Second consonant is pronounced(yes it makes no sense, don't worry about it).

Pair 1 - ㄺ

Example: 닭

Pair 2 - ㄻ

Example: 닮다

Pair 3 - ㄿ

Example: 읊다