Iru or hairu?

入る is one of the most frequent verb I come across, yet I haven’t figure out how to it is supposed to be pronounced (which hiragana form to choose), and in which circumstances.

“お 入り に なる と, …”

Is it いり or はいり ?

And how should I know which one to choose? I know both means basically “go in”.

“入る” is usually pronounced “はいる”. It can mean coming in, going into, joining, etc. According to a dictionary, “はいる” is a “contemporary” pronunciation of the verb “入る”.


As a native I can say it correctly and naturally. However, I can’t explain it grammatically.
I think いる is a short version of はいる. Or いる is a noun form of はいる. I’m not sure.

お入りになると = おはいりになると

Here are some examples which we use often on a daily basis.

お入りください。= おはいりください。 = Please come in.
温泉に入りたい。= おんせんにはいりたい。= I want to go in a hot spring.
サッカー部に入りました。 = さっかーぶにはいりました。 = I joined the soccer club.

この封筒の中に手紙が入っています = このふうとうのなかにてがみがはいっています。
There is a letter in this envelope.

出入り口 = でいりぐち = doorways

立ち入り禁止 = 立入禁止 = たちいりきんし = KEEP OUT

封筒に手紙を入れました。 = ふうとうにてがみをいれました。
I put a letter in an envelope.

財布の中に現金を入れました。 = さいふのなかにげんきんをいれました。
I put some cash into my wallet.

現金入りの財布をなくしました。 = げんきんいりのさいふをなくしました。
I lost my wallet containing some cash.

Hope this helps.

Complementing what’s already said, the rule of thumb may be:

  1. If used by itself (i.e, not as part of compound word) and means “enter”, it is はいる.(部屋に はいる; 五十人 はいれる).
  2. In all other cases, it is いる/いり. In particular:
    … a) as part of a noun word it is most likely い。(入口 or 入り口, 入江).
    … b) most idioms/compunds seem to have it as い。(気にいる, 落ちいる) - but 手に入る seems to have both readings !?
    … c) 入れる is はいれる only when used as “admissible” (#1 above), otherwise it is always いれる and means “put in”.
    … d) some usage of 入り is actually a noun form of 入れる, as in 現金入り.

It looks like いる was the original reading and はいる came about later for disambiguation purpose, but in most set phrases and nouns, いる survived. There’s some discussion of this at 入る (いる・はいる) Iru/Hairu | WordReference Forums.

Thanks guys, very helpful!