Ukrainian Ye
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Ukrainian Ye
Cyrillic letter
Ukrainian Ye
Ukrainian Ye - uppercase and lowercase.svg
Phonetic usage:[je], [j?]
Numeric value:5
The Cyrillic script
Slavic letters
Non-Slavic letters
Archaic letters

Ukrainian Ye (? ?; italics: ? ?) is a character of the Cyrillic script. It is a separate letter in the Ukrainian alphabet (8th position since 1992, 7th position before then), the Pannonian Rusyn alphabet, and both the Carpathian Rusyn alphabets; in all of these, it comes directly after ?. In modern Church Slavonic, it is considered a variant form of Ye (? ?) (there, the selection of ? and ? is driven by orthography rules). Until the mid-19th century, ?/? was also used in Romanian and Serbian (the letter was eliminated in Vuk Karad?i?'s alphabet and replaced by digraph ). Other modern Slavonic languages may use ?/? shapes instead of ?/? for decorative purposes. Then, the letter is usually referred to by the older name Yest and the descriptive name Long E.

In Ukrainian, ?/? commonly represents the sound /je/ or /j?/ like the pronunciation of ⟨ye⟩ in "yes". (See usage for more detail.)

Ukrainian Ye is romanized as ⟨je⟩ or ⟨e⟩. See scientific transliteration of Cyrillic.


Letter ?/? was derived from one of variant forms of Cyrillic Ye (? ?), known as "long E" or "anchor E". ?-shaped letter can be found in late uncial (ustav) and semi-uncial (poluustav) Cyrillic manuscripts, especially ones of Ukrainian origin. Typically it corresponds to the letter Iotated E (? ?) of older monuments. Certain old primers and grammar books of Church Slavonic language had listed ?/? as a letter distinct from ?/? and placed it near the end of the alphabet (the exact alphabet position varies). Among modern-style Cyrillic scripts (known as "civil script" or "Petrine script"), ?/? was first used in Serbian books (end of the 18th century and first half of the 19th century); sometimes, Serbian printers might be using ?/? instead of ?/? due to font availability. For the modern Ukrainian language, ?/? is used since 1837 (orthography of almanach "? ?" (Rusalka Dnestrovaya)). In Cyrillic numerals, ? is always preferred to E to represent 5.


Ukrainian and Rusyn

In Ukrainian and Rusyn (as well as in old Serbian orthography), ?/? represents the sound combination /je/ or the vowel sound /e/ after a palatalized consonant.


In Khanty, the letter represents the sound /je/.

Old Slavonic, Old East Slavic

In oldest Slavonic manuscripts, ? is just a graphical variant of ? and thus represents /e/ without palatalization. Later ? replaces ? (i.e. denotes /?e/ after consonants and /je/ after vowels and in an initial position). Yet later, it also accepts both decorative role (as an initial letter of a word, even if there were no iotation) and an orthographical one, to make distinction between certain homonymical forms (mostly between plural and singular).

New Church Slavonic

Since the mid-17th century, the Church Slavonic orthography has the following main rules related to the usage of shapes ? and ?:

  • in an initial position, always use ?;
  • otherwise, use ? with the following exceptions:
    • in noun's endings, use - and - for plural and -, - for singular;
    • in other endings, suffixes and roots of nouns, adjectives, participles, numerals and pronouns, use ? for plural/dual, if there exists a homonymous form in the singular (either of the same word or a different one; the actual rule is much more complicated and not well-defined, as there are multiple other ways to eliminate such homonymy);
    • publishers from Kyiv also use ? in the genitive case of three pronouns (?, ?, ?), and ? in the accusative case (?, ?, ?);
  • as a numerical sign (with value 5) use ?, not ? (the rule has often been ignored outside of the Russian Empire).

In the modern Church Slavonic alphabet, the 6th letter is typically shown as (one uppercase accompanied with two variants of lowercase).

The different shapes ? and ? exist only in lowercase; thus in all caps and small caps styles, the distinction between ? and ? disappears.

Old Believers print their books using an older variant of New Church Slavonic language. Its orthography combines the fully formal system described above with the older tradition to use ? phonetically (after vowels, to represent iotated /je/).

Similar characters

The United States Federal Geographic Data Committee uses ?, a character similar to capital ?, to represent the Cambrian Period in geologic history.[1]

? is similar to the symbol for the euro currency ⟨EUR⟩. In a memorandum from the European Commission on the design of the euro sign, Ukrainian Ye was used to represent the Greek letter Epsilon.[2]

Related letters and other similar characters

Computing codes

Character information
Preview Є є
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 1028 U+0404 1108 U+0454
UTF-8 208 132 D0 84 209 148 D1 94
Numeric character reference Є Є є є
Named character reference Є є
KOI8-U 180 B4 164 A4
Code page 855 135 87 134 86
Code page 866 242 F2 243 F3
Windows-1251 170 AA 186 BA
ISO-8859-5 164 A4 244 F4
Macintosh Cyrillic 184 B8 185 B9


  1. ^ Federal Geographic Data Committee, ed. (August 2006). FGDC Digital Cartographic Standard for Geologic Map Symbolization FGDC-STD-013-2006 (PDF). U.S. Geological Survey for the Federal Geographic Data Committee. p. A-32-1. Retrieved 2010.
  2. ^ "How to use the euro name and symbol". European Commission - Economic and Financial Affairs. Retrieved .

Further reading

  • ?. ?. ? // ? ?: . -- ?. , 2000. ISBN 966-7492-07-9 -- ?. 679--680. (H. Pivtorak, "Ukrainian Alphabet")

External links

  • The dictionary definition of ? at Wiktionary
  • The dictionary definition of ? at Wiktionary

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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