Heavy, Light, and Neutral Vowels

Vowels in Korean are classified as Yang (positive, light, not heavy), Eum (negative, dark, heavy), and neutral.

The Yang vowels are a and o .
The Eum vowels are eo and u .
The neutral vowels are i and eu

When combining vowels to make diphthongs:
Yang vowels can only combine with other yang or neutral vowels. (example: wa, oe)
Eum vowels can only combine with other eum or neutral vowels. (examples: weo, wi)
Neutral vowels can only combine with other neutral vowels. (example: yi)

(Menu)Return to Diphthong Table