I've got the following mappings and abbreviations in my .vimrc

let mapleader = ","
inoremap <leader>( ()<ESC>i
iabbrev pirnt print

Now abbreviations won't expand if the following character is an open parenthesis.

If I type:


it won't correct my spelling mistake, and it leaves me with pirnt()

This seems to be the case for all mappings, for example I've got jj mapped to <ESC>, and if I type pirntjj it simply puts me in normal mode, leaving my spelling mistake there.

Not using a leader has no effect, either.

inoremap ( ()<ESC>i

produces the same result.

How can I make Vim expand abbreviations if the following character is mapped to something else?

  • 2
    Not sure it helps, but you can trigger the expansion of an abbreviation by hitting <C-]> (see :h i^]). So, maybe you could redefine your insert mode mapping like this: inoremap <Leader>( <C-]>()<Esc>i Dec 18, 2016 at 18:19

2 Answers 2


I don't know why the abbreviation is not automatically expanded when you use your mapping, but you can manually trigger its expansion by hitting <C-]>.

From :h i^]:

CTRL-]      Trigger abbreviation, without inserting a character.

So, maybe you could use this key at the beginning of the {rhs} of your insert-mode mapping, to trigger the expansion of a possible abbreviation before inserting the parentheses.

It would give:

inoremap <leader>( <C-]>()<Esc>i

It's because you are using inoremap. Try:

imap ( ()<ESC>i

Note the documentation at :h recursive_mapping:

[...] If the {rhs} starts with {lhs}, the first character is not mapped
again (this is Vi compatible).

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