Sometimes I'm having trouble choosing the reading for 入る. There was a related question about the reading of 入れる, however my JMdict-based dictionary marks both 入る{はいる} and 入る{いる} as intransitive verbs (自動詞) - is it correct? If so, then how to choose among them? My particular sentence in question this time is


The second reading is certain (from 入{い}れ替{か}わる), but I'm not sure about the first one: the dictionary has "to enter/to go into/to break into" among the meanings for 入る{はいる}, and "to come in/to flow into" for 入る{いる}, and both seem to fit here.

And BTW, is どどっと an onomatopoeic word? Failed to find anything close in the dictionary.

  • I think it's always はいる unless it's 気に入る or part of a 'compound verb' such as 見入る
    – oals
    Commented Jul 23, 2016 at 14:54
  • 2
    @oals Perhaps, but then the next question would be if どどっと入る qualifies as a "compound word". A quick search for "*に入る" reveals both いる readings (悦に入る, 堂に入る, 鬼籍に入る, 神に入る, ...) and はいる (手に入る, 選に入る, 仲に入る, 口に入る, ...), so any general rule is unclear...
    – kroki
    Commented Jul 23, 2016 at 16:32

2 Answers 2


Basically, in contemporary Japanese, intransitive 入る = /hairu/. The /iru/ readings are essentially all survivals from an earlier stage in which 入る was just /iru/. (In fact, /hairu/ is basically /hau/ "crawl" + /iru/, which is why sometimes in older texts you see it written 這入る).

So your best bet is to assume that 入る is /hairu/ on its own and /ir-/ in compound words (入り口 = /iriguchi/, 入れ替わる = /irekawaru/), and learn the exceptions one by one. There are quite a few such exceptions in the dictionary, but you won't actually encounter one very often. Most of them have a fairly old-fashioned or literary feel and are pretty rare nowadays. The big exception to this is 気に入る /ki ni iru/ but it seems you have that one down already.

(If it makes you feel any better, misreading the 入る in expressions like 神に入る as /hairu/ is relatively common even among native Japanese speakers, precisely because /iru/ is an exceptional reading these days.)

So: どどっと入る is almost certainly /dodotto hairu/, because it's not a set phrase, and so there's no reason for 入る to have anything other than its standard reading. And どどっと is probably mimetic, yeah, don't know about onomatopoeic. Try looking up どっと -- it's basically a reduplicated form of that.


[入]{はい}る = intransitive verb
[入]{い}れる = transitive verb



I hope it helps you.^^

  • 9
    Thanks for you attempt, however the question was not about 入る vs. 入れる, but rather about how to tell when 入る is read as いる and not はいる (like in 気に入る).
    – kroki
    Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 20:45

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