2024 TOPIK Vocabulary Guide: Clarifying Commonly Confused Words

This is 2024 TOPIK Vocabulary post! Mastering the vocabulary of the Korean language is crucial for success in the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK). However, some words can be particularly tricky due to their similarities in sound or appearance, yet they carry distinct meanings and usages. This blog post, designed by a professional TOPIK test teacher, delves into essential vocabulary and highlights confusing word pairs. Understanding these differences not only sharpens your language skills but also boosts your confidence in the exam.

2024 TOPIK Vocabulary blog image
2024 TOPIK Vocabulary Image

Detailed Comparison of Confusing Word Pairs 2024 TOPIK Vocabulary

참가하다 vs 참여하다

  • 참가하다 (to participate, to attend) is typically used when referring to participation in events or formal settings, emphasizing the act of being part of an organized activity.
    • Example: 그는 마라톤 대회에 참가했다. (He participated in the marathon.)
  • 참여하다 (to participate, to engage) is broader and includes participation in less formal or more active engagements, often implying a more involved, interactive role.
    • Example: 그녀는 봉사 활동에 적극적으로 참여했다. (She actively participated in volunteer activities.)

기기 vs 기계

  • 기기 (device, apparatus) is a general term for any type of device, often electronic or used for specific functions.
    • Example: 이 기기는 최신 기술로 만들어졌다. (This device was made with the latest technology.)
  • 기계 (machine) refers to mechanical devices or equipment, usually larger and more complex, often used in industrial contexts.
    • Example: 그 공장에는 여러 종류의 기계가 있다. (There are various types of machines in that factory.)

정책 vs 장치

  • 정책 (policy) refers to rules or guidelines set by an organization or government to influence decisions and actions.
    • Example: 정부는 환경 보호 정책을 강화하고 있다. (The government is strengthening its environmental protection policies.)
  • 장치 (device, mechanism) often refers to physical devices or setups designed for specific functions, particularly safety mechanisms.
    • Example: 이 장치는 자동으로 온도를 조절합니다. (This device automatically adjusts the temperature.)

발전 vs 발달

  • 발전 (development, progress) is used to describe progress or advancement in technology, society, or economy.
    • Example: 이 나라는 경제 발전을 이루었다. (This country has achieved economic development.)
  • 발달 (development, growth) is more commonly used to talk about growth or evolution in a biological or physiological context.
    • Example: 인간의 뇌 발달은 매우 복잡한 과정이다. (Human brain development is a very complex process.)

부끄럽다 vs 창피하다

  • 부끄럽다 (to be embarrassed, to be ashamed) is used when feeling shame or embarrassment due to personal failures or moral shortcomings.
    • Example: 그의 행동이 부끄러웠다. (I was ashamed of his actions.)
  • 창피하다 (to be embarrassed) refers to feeling embarrassment or humiliation, often due to external circumstances or the actions of others.
    • Example: 친구 앞에서 넘어져서 창피했다. (I was embarrassed when I fell in front of my friends.)

lf You want to take free lessons about TOPIK, Download our app ‘JAEM Korean’. There are many free lessons about TOPIK test. You can find ‘TOPIK tricky words’ lesson or ‘TOPIK Listening practice’ Lesson. This was 2024 TOPIK Vocabulary – Detailed Comparison of Confusing Word Pairs

Strategies for Memorizing and Using Vocabulary Effectively

Learning TOPIK vocabulary requires more than rote memorization; it demands understanding and application. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Use vocabulary in sentences to understand context.
  • Engage with multimedia resources to hear words used in real-life scenarios.
  • Regularly review and test yourself to reinforce memory.


This guide has explored critical vocabulary distinctions necessary for the TOPIK test. By understanding these differences, you can enhance your comprehension and usage of Korean, giving you a clearer path to success in the exam.

Master 2024 TOPIK Vocabulary – Outro

Continue to build your vocabulary and test your understanding regularly. With consistent effort and strategic study, mastering these nuances will become second nature, setting you on the path to TOPIK success.

How was ‘2024 TOPIK Vocabulary’ post? We are going to open premieum course about TOPIK, so plz wait!!✌️And If you need to know 2024 TOPIK Schedule, please check our JAEM blog post! (View Blog post) – 2024 TOPIK Vocabulary by JAEM Korean Team


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