I am currently teaching myself japanese and I was listening to a japanese song and one of the words in that song was 生きて and as I am learning, I wanted to see what the first letter meant (or radical, whatever its called) and saw it is pronounced "nama" but when in the 生きてform is pronounced as "i". Why is this and how exactly should i know what to say if it changes?

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    Try searching for 音読み (onyomi) and 訓読み (kunyomi) readings on this site, or on Google in general. Short answer: there is no way to know other than experience, but there are some guidelines. Try this link for starters: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/17696/… – user3856370 Jul 8 '19 at 21:32
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    FWIW, 生 is one of, if not the single kanji with the highest number of readings. See this dictionary entry. – istrasci Jul 8 '19 at 21:45
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    生命【せいめい】, 生涯【しょうがい】,誕生日【たんじょうび】,平生【へいぜい】,作麼生【そもさん】,生真面目【きまじめ】,生花【いけばな】,生井【いくい】,居心地【いごこち】,生意気【なまいき】,芝生【しばふ】,生【う】みの親【おや】,生湯【うぶゆ】,生【お】い育【そだ】つ,生業【すぎわい】,生【は】え変【か】わる,苔【こけ】の生【む】すまで,生【な】さぬ仲【なか】,生憎【あいにく】,弥生【やよい】 – blutorange Jul 8 '19 at 21:57
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  • @blut, 「居心地」って、「生」の字が入ってないですけどね。。(「[生業]{なりわい}」って「すぎわい」とも読むって知らんかった) – Chocolate Jul 9 '19 at 2:58