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The questions is how to choose between 「いれる」 and 「はいれる」.

As far as I know, the same kanji is used for both (入れる). How can one make the distinction when reading a text?

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The unsurprising answer is “by context.” – Tsuyoshi Ito Sep 21 '12 at 15:45
related: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/3807/… – cypher Sep 21 '12 at 15:50
up vote 7 down vote accepted

You say X [入]{はい}れる, but X [入]{い}れる.

The answer to these type of questions always seems to be the same, but you need the context to decide on a reading for a particular 漢字. There are many examples for when the reading of a 漢字 is dependent on the context, and the word pair you quote is one of the easier ones to guess, because [入]{はい}れる is an intransitive verb and [入]{い}れる is a transitive verb and there is a definite answer and a definite way to find out (i.e. check whether the sentence has a direct object marked with を and you know it has to be [入]{い}れる).

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I worked this one out but I've been struggling with why 立ち入り禁止 is「いり」not 「はいり」.... – Tim Sep 21 '12 at 18:29
Tx. That is good to know. I have been considering a question on topic but was going to look into it more first. Possibly the OP should be on the difference between the intransitives いる and はいる with reference to 入り口 and 気に入る(いる). – Tim Sep 22 '12 at 10:12
@user1205935, got any support for your reading of 立ち入った? I have never heard this read in any other way than たちいった. – dainichi Sep 24 '12 at 1:56

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