Please Teach Me Korean: 27회 TOPIK 어휘 및 문법

I just finished going through the 어휘 및 문법 section of the 27th TOPIK and there are some things that I still can’t understand. So I’m putting them up here so that I can go back to it later. Hopefully also, some good souls would come across this and answer my questions. 🙂

EDITED: Received answers from Shanna and 2 good souls (reineblanc, Superhero1 & bobon2023) from Wordreference. I am a happy girl because I can now clearly understand! Thanks everyone! 🙂

Do check the comments of Shanna below. Thanks Shanna! 🙂


공연이 늦게 끝나 밤 열한 시가 넘어서 집에 도착했다.

* Why is there no conjunction between 공연이 늦게 끝나 and 밤 열한 시가…
Why not 늦게 끝나서 or 늦게 끝나고. How can this be translated in English? The performance ended late so I got (arrived) home at (when it turned) 11pm (?)


– In this sentence, the ending ‘-아’ (like in 끝나) has almost the same role as ‘-아서'(in 끝나서). It can refer to time order or cause-and-effect relation.
These pages may be of help : ‘-아’ , ‘-아서’

– 끝나고 doesn’t work here

– Best translated as “I arrived home after 11 p.m because it (공연) finished late. 넘어서 – after (in this context) 

– “I arrived home late after 11 at night because the gig finished late.” is another possible translation (bonbon2023)

‘끝나’ in your sentence has – 아10「2」까닭이나 근거 따위를 나타내는 연결 어미.
The reason why you can’t see ending -아 is 한글맞춤법.
Article 34 of section 5, chapter 4: It is written as the shortened form if ‘-아/-어, -았-/-었-‘ combines with vowel ‘ㅏ, ㅓ’.
e.g 가아 >가, 나아> 나, 가았다>갔다

-고, -아, -서 are conjunction-endings that attach to verb or adjective stems. The conjunction 그리고, 그래서 don’t attach to stems.

I don’t see any difference if ‘나’ is changed to ‘나서’ in meaning, but it seems clumsy because of the repeated ‘-서’, 끝나서 and 넘어서.
(The reason why it clumsy is since we avoid using same endings, josas if possible.) But, there’s some difference if you use ‘끝나고’ conjunction-ending ‘-고’ relates ‘공연이~고’ clause and ‘밤~도착했다’ clause.
공연이 늦게 끝나 밤 열한 시가 넘어서 집에 도착했다. (fine)
공연이 늦게 끝나고 밤 열한 시가 넘어서 집에 도착했다.(fine but different from two)
공연이 늦게 끝나서 밤 열한 시가 넘어서 집에 도착했다.(no error but a bit clumsy) – bonbon2023


짐을 ( ) 밖으로 나왔다.
책상 위에 신문을 ( ) 두었다.
아들의 전화를 받고 마음을 ( ).
① 들다 ② 풀다 ③ 놓다 ④ 펴다

* I know the answer is 놓다 but some of the choices can be used on some sentences while not on some.

짐을 ( ) 밖으로 나왔다. You can say 짐을 들고 밖으로 나왔다, right? 짐을 풀고 밖으로 나왔다 is also possible, right? Of  course 짐을 놓고 밖으로 나왔다. I googled 가방을 펴고 and I saw the phrase 구겨진 가방 펴는 방법. So I guess it’s possible but not often use. So one can carry a bag and go outside, unpack a bag and go outside, put down a bag and go outside and well yeah, unfold a bag and go outside.

책상 위에 신문을 ( ) 두었다. Is it correct to say that 놓다 and 두다 comes in pair? 책상 위에 신문을 놓아 두었다. 놔 뒀어다. 신문을 들고 있다 is possible but not with 두다? And I guess 풀다 just doesn’t go with a 신문. But 신문을 펴다 is commonly used but does 펴다 go with 두다. Can one say 신문을 펴고 두었다?

아들의 전화를 받고 마음을 ( ). 마음을 들다 is a very common idiom(?) which means to like something/someone but I don’t think it works in this context. 마음을 풀다 is also an idiom which means to ease one’s mind so I guess it could work. 마음을 놓다 also means to be at ease. When I googled 마음을 펴다 I didn’t get any results.


– 짐. Although 짐 can mean bag – as in luggage it may not necessarily be a bag, even on this context. Because it could also mean box/es, cargo, freight. So it’s almost impossible to use 펴다 here. Unless your luggage is a foldable one like this: 😄

– 신문을 펴 두었다? 신문을 펴 두었다 or 신문을 펴 놓았다 (I don’t know why I have so much affinity with the -아/어/여서 and 고 conjugations!!! Well, I just learned that 아 is sort of a conjugation on it’s own ㅠㅠ)

– No such this as 마음 들다 because it’s supposed to be 마음에 들다 .

– When a mother was angry about her son’s rudeness (so they might have a trouble), but after son’s ringing, she reconciled with him. We describe this situation as 아들의 전화를 받고 마음을 풀었다 (superhero1). It’s usually used when you are worried about someone misunderstanding you but the misunderstanding is resolved (Shanna).

– When one’s young son enlisted to the army, one might worry about his being safe. After getting phone call from one’s son, one would say 아들의 전화를 받고 마음을 놓았다.


집을 ( ) 뒤에 다시 생각해 봅시다.
그는 의류 사업으로 많은 이익을 ( ).
어머니의 상태를 ( ) 입원을 결정하려고 한다.
① 보다 ② 내다 ③ 구하다 ④ 살피다

* So the answer is 보다 but…

집을 ( ) 뒤에 다시 생각해 봅시다. You see (보다) a house and you can think about it after seeing it. You can find (구하다) a house but does it make sense to think about it again after already finding one? You can vacate a house 집내다 and think about it after (but what else can you do?). I guess you can also 살피다 a 집 but again, why think about it again?

그는 의류 사업으로 많은 이익을 ( ). 이익을 보다 is to make/see a profit. 이익을 내다 is to make a profit. I think obtain/getting a profit 이익을 구하다 can also work. 이익을 살피다 I’m not sure. But naver has this sentence 그는 자기 자신의 이익을 살피는 데 능하다. However I don’t think it’ll work in the context of this question?

어머니의 상태를 ( ) 입원을 결정하려고 한다. Once can look 보다 at a 상태 before hospital admission. I saw some 상태을 내다 but I don’t think it’ll work on this context. I’m not sure if 구하다 works for 상태 but do we need to 구하다 a 상태 before deciding hospital admission? Of course one can also evaluate 살피다 first a 상태.


– You can say 집을 구한 뒤에 다시 생각해 봅시다. When you tried to get a house, for some reason, you did not have time to look around many houses, therefore, you had to rent a house for a month in a hurry, and then, you could search other places to live, staying at the house rented for 1 month. In 집을 살핀 뒤에 다시 생각해봅시다., suppose that there are two detectives. One said to the other, ‘I’m not sure he is the culprit. After combing through the house, let’s think again.’ (Superhero1).

– We very occasionally use the verb 구하다 (which means 좇다 here) with the objective 이익. e.g. 눈 앞의 이익만을 구하지 말고 멀리 내다 보아라. You should weigh short-term gains against long-term consequences.(Do not follow the immediate profit.) Look further (Superhero1).

– 이익을 살피다 is a different meaning altogether. it’s a figurative use (Shanna)

– In “그는 자기 자신의 이익을 살피는 데 능하다. ” ‘이익을 살피다’ is ‘to manage profits’ (bobon2023)

alodia: 헐! Really my most hated part in the TOPIK paper! Very difficult!!! But thanks for all the answers, it’s clearer now but I’m not sure if I can remember this well. 


① 사회가 너무 빨리 변해 가서 적응하기 힘들다.
② 어려운 일을 끝내고 나니 기분이 매우 좋았다.
③ 아이들이 너무 떠들어 대서 일을 할 수가 없었다.
④ 지금까지 힘들게 운영해 버린 가게를 닫기로 했다.

What is the 대서 on ③? 대다? Can’t you just say 떠들어서 일을 할 수가 없었다. How is 떠들어 대다 differs from just 떠들다?

*Just a reminder to myself, ④ should be 버리는 가게 because it’s not in the past. The 했다 at the end made me confused at first then I realized that -기로 usually takes the past form because you already planned on doing it (even if you haven’t done it). And the 지금까지 is obviously something that is NOT in the past.


–  x + 대다 is a grammar structure meaning ‘repetitively doing something’  (Shanna)