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On Wanikani I've long since learned "entrance" as 入{い}り口{ぐち}. However, in my textbook, I just came across the vocabulary word for "entrance" and it writes it as 入{いり}口{ぐち}. I note that the pronunciation is the same in both cases 「いりぐち」 but what's the difference between the two kanji writings?

I looked it up on jisho and only found 入口 (though 入り口点 on jisho uses the い reading of 入). Does this mean I should normally be writing this as 入口 and wanikani is wrong, or is this a matter of preference?

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    Difference between 入口 and 入り口. The latter has a り in the middle. – istrasci Oct 1 '17 at 4:44
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They are both correct. Japanese vocabulary has all sorts of different spellings of the same words, it's just that many of them are archaic or simply uncommon.

According to Kanshudo, 入口 is the most common, and 入り口 is the second most common.

You will come across words like these constantly, especially if you are interacting with a large variety of Japanese media. It's best to learn each reading when you do.

  • I hadn't heard of Kanshudo. When I didn't find it on jisho I got a little worried like it might not be real, or may be archaic, but this site Kanshudo will be really helpful with identifying what's common and what the other options are. Thanks! – Shirik Oct 1 '17 at 5:28
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The り is called okurigana It is used to ensure the reading. Naturally the Japanese people know that 入口 can only be read いりぐち。but in some other cases the reading can be ambiguous. therefore they add some time hiragana to help the reading. These are just 2 ways of writing but they are similar.

(Here, you could read 入口 as にゅうこう without the り but that just doesn't make sense)

  • For a learner, it might be difficult at first to differentiate 入口 and 入り口 in the sense that the verb form is 入る(はいる) so seeing り after 入 might lead to the incorrect reading of はいりぐち – psosuna Oct 4 '17 at 23:47

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