Definitions for ij

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word ij


  1. IJ

    The IJ is the digraph of the letters i and j. Occurring in the Dutch language, it is sometimes considered a ligature, or even a letter in itself – although in most fonts that have a separate character for ij the two composing parts are not connected, but are separate glyphs, sometimes slightly kerned. An ij in written Dutch usually represents the diphthong. In standard Dutch, and most Dutch dialects, there are two possible spellings for the diphthong: ij and ei. This causes confusion for schoolchildren, who need to learn which words to write with ei and which with ij. To distinguish between the two, the ij is referred to as the lange ij, the ei as korte ei or simply E – I. This difficulty is aggravated by the fact that sometimes both variants exist, resulting in two words with different meanings, e.g. lijden and leiden. In certain Dutch dialects, as well as the Low German dialects of Dutch Low Saxon, a difference in the pronunciation of ei and ij is maintained. Whether pronounced identically to ei or not, the pronunciation of ij is often perceived to be difficult by native English speakers. The tendency is to pronounce ij as, which can lead to confusion among native listeners.

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"ij." STANDS4 LLC, 2015. Web. 25 Nov. 2015. <>.

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