Korean 6 - Reading 6 - 3 letter blocks

Isn't that exciting ? Suddenly you can talk to people, ask them where they are going, tell them where you are going, what you see...

Let's add some places to our vocabulary.

First of all a new letter: ㅈ = j (as in jungle) / you might also hear some people saying it like 'ts'or 'tj'.

Oh and definitely we need some blocks for three letters. There 2 different ones and actually it is quite easy. Remember the blocks we used so far and add a space underneath.

syllable block 38

and now they become:

syllable block 39

So now we can add three letters in the same space. That means that our letters become a bit smaller. And that is the very reason why I make you look at these boxes. There will be boxes with 4 letters later and actually even with 5 (it depends on how one counts) and still they need to neatly look the same size as those two letter blocks. I would recommend you to try to write words by hand and practice spacing.

Do you remember our rules for the spots 1 and 2 ? They are still valid. Let me refresh your memory.

  • No.1 is always a consonant.
  • No.2 is always a vowel. ( and this vowel decides the shape of our box, even of the three letter box)
  • All spaces have to be filled in.
  • No. 3 is always underneath and is always a consonant. (except for blocks with double vowels, but in that case the entire blocks looks different.)

Let's go !

syllable block 40

Like before we read the letters according to numbers: 1 = j, 2 = i, 3 = b (but here p because of being the last letter in a block) which reads altogether: jip = house / home

As we have seen in our last lesson, we need to add 에 / -e to the place if we want to go there.

syllable block 41

But look what happened now to our pronunciation. The letter is no longer at the end of a word but right in the middle. So now it becomes a b

집에 = ji-be* = to the house / (to) home

* You might have noticed that I grouped the transcribed letters according to how we would pronounce them. The Korean blocks literally spell: jib-e

So let's go home, shall we ?

집에 가요. = Ji-be ka-yo. = I go home / you go home/ we go home/ Do we go home?/ Let's go home...

Let's look a little at a consonant, we have learned already:

We have seen it so far only as a silent place 1 filler. But it actually does have some sound to it. (not in place 1 though) It can however occur in place 3 and then sound like ng

syllable block 42

Note that in real life slot 1 and 2 melt a bit together to help you gain some space:

Now let's read that: 공 = kong = ball

공을 kong-eul

Our ball has become an object (we added -eul to it - the object ending after a consonant)

syllable block 43

공을 봐요. = kon-geul pwa-yo. = I see the ball.

Did you notice that there were two in a row ? The first one was voiced since it came in end position of the syllable kong, the second was silent since it was the start of the syllable eul.

But right, I am getting carried away... we wanted a place, not a ball.

syllable block 44

ㅎ = h

공항 = kong hang = the airport

- 어디에 가요 ? = eo-di-e ka-yo? = Where are you going?

- 공항에 가요. kong-hang-e ka-yo. I go to the airport.

At the risk of getting repetitive here, let me insist one more time on the fact that the vowel of slot 2 decides on the shape of our letter box.

With the vowels 아 이 어 에 애 we get:

syllable block 45

with the vowels 오 우 으 we get:

syllable block 46

Let's practice a bit more.

syllable block 47

은행 = eun-haeng = the bank

- 은행에 가요? Eun-haeng-e ka-yo? Are you going to the bank?

- 네 은행에 가요 Ne, eun-haeng-e ka-yo. Yes, I go to the bank.

syllable block 48

학교 = = hak-kyo = the school

syllable block 49

가게 ka-ge = the shop - (Here again we have ㄱ at word begin = k and in the middle of the word = g)

Do you still remember the new letter we learned ? ㅈ= j

With this letter we can write the word:

syllable block 50

= jang = place

Let's have one more letter : ㅅ= s (one exception: before i = sh)

사 = sa, 서 = seo(saw), 소= so, 수= su, 세= se(say), 새= sae, but: 시= shi

syllable block 52

시장 = shi-jang = market

syllable block 53

식당= shik-tang = restaurant

Remember, we can add a little line to our vowels in order to add a 'y' to them.

We have used 오 = o, 요 = yo

Btw. 우 = u (oo), 유= yu (yoo), 우유 = u-yu (oo-yoo) = milk

Well, now we need 어 = eo (aw) = yeo (yaw)

syllable block 51

수영장= su-jeong-jang = swimming pool (the place where one does su-jeong = swimming)

syllable block 54

= yeok = (train) station

We can actually add the train in front of it. Train is an interesting word composed of two syllables:

= ki = spirit / energy and 차 = tsha = vehicle (also short word for car)

So let's add our kitsha to the station and we'll get:

syllable block 55

Right there was a new letter : ㅊ= tsh; Look in the picture above.However it can also look slightly different:


ki-tsha-yeok = train station

Another interesting point is maybe to look at the different shapes the letter 'k' can take when fitting into our block. The first and the last letter of our word for train stain are the same letter: ㄱ

To end this lesson let's have a last look at all the vowels and consonants we have learned.

- a - b (beginning or end of a word: p)
- i (ee as in see) - d (beginning or end of a word: t)
- aw - m
- ay (e as in pianoforte) - n
- ae ( as 'ea' in yeah) - r (if last letter of a word: l)
- o (as in tongue) - h
- u (as 'oo' in school) -j (as in Jack)
- k (beginning and end) - g (word middle)
- s (as in snob)
tch (as in match)