I hear some people pronounce both 居る and 要る low-HIGH, and others I have heard pronouncing 居る as HIGH-low. Can you clarify whether these are correct, if the variations are regional or not, or if there is some other explanation for variation? お願いします!

1 Answer 1


In Standard Japanese both words are pronounced 「いる{LH}」.

In Nagoya which is where I currently reside, however, 「居る」("to be, to stay") is pronounced 「いる{HL}」 and 「要る」("to be necessary") is pronounced 「いる{LH}」.

So, your observation seems correct. Accents change regionally just like the colors of miso soup change regionally.

The words that are pronounced 「いる{HL}」 instead in Standard Japanese are 「炒る」("to roast"), 「射る」("to shoot an arrow"), 「鋳る」("to cast metal"), etc.

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