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This is a mock HSK5 exam question:

有位北方商人去南方收购茶叶,当他到达目的地时,当地茶叶早已被其他商人抢购一空。情急之中,他突然想到一个---1---,把当地装茶叶的筐全部给买了下来,当其他商人准备将茶叶---2---时,才发现已经没有箩筐可买,无奈只得向这位商人求购。结果这位北方商人轻而易举地在这些人身上赚了一大笔,还---3---了往北方运回茶叶的费用和麻烦,直接将钱带回了家。在很多时候,成功与失败之间,---4---。

  1. A. 主意 B. 事情 C. 朋友 D. 地方
  2. A. 卖出 B. 收购 C. 存放 D. 运回
  3. A. 买下 B. 花费 C. 省下 D. 留下
  4. A. 非常远 B. 只有一步的距离 C. 没有关系 D. 需要好好儿思考和准备

(正确答案:1.A 2.D 3.C 4.B)

刘云,HSK5级 应试指南,62页,例3 (photo of original)

I don't understand how we can infer that the correct answer to 2 is D 运回. It seems like there is a hidden assumption that all of the 商人 have traveled from somewhere else to buy tea leaves, and they intend to transport them back to their point of origin.

The book's explanation is:

第2题,既然是“去南方收购”,那么收购完以后应该是“回北方”,因此第2题选择“D 运回”。

But only the 北方商人 is from the north, not the 其他商人 as in the question. Indeed, the passage begins with 有位北方商人, which (to my knowledge) implies that there is only one 商人 from the north.

Question: How do we infer that 运回 is the correct way to fill in the blank in 当其他商人准备将茶叶[blank]时?

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All four options are grammatical, which means this question is asking which makes the most sense.

A is usually a bamboo-made basket, which is ideal for temporary transport (運回) of tea leaves, not their long-term storage (存放), so option C is wrong. (It’s not waterproof, for starters)

enter image description here

準備收購 implies the purchase is not yet done. But the buyers have already bought the tea leaves, — they buy them first, only to realise there are no baskets left — so option B is wrong.

One may need a vessel like to sell (賣出) the tea leaves, but this is not exactly the purpose of . You’re right that not all the buyers must come from the North, but tea leaves are undoubtedly a commodity specifically from the South (where the weather is conducive to plant growth), which makes transport a necessary part of the product chain. Combining the above, option D is better than A.

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Where 其他商人 came from is irrelevant

Our 北方商人 went to the south to 收购茶叶. All other 商人, no matter where they came from were also there to 收购茶叶. After they bought the tealeaves from the farmers, they all need to transport them back to their stores. It could be a wholesale store in another province, or a teahouse a few towns away.

So the correct answer is D. 运回 (you need to put the tea leaves in 筐 to transport them)

A. 卖出 is wrong. If you 收购 the tealeaves without baskets, you can 卖出 them without baskets, the buyers will provide the buskets themselves

B. 收购 is wrong. They already bought the goods

C. 存放 is wrong. Tealeaves can be stored in any container as long as it is indoor, it doesn't need to be 筐

If 运走 was a choice, it would also be a correct answer

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I love these little stories!

Fill in the gaps with the correct word or phrase.

有位北方商人去南方收购茶叶,
There was a businessman from the North who went south to buy tea,

当他到达目的地时,
when he got where he was going,

当地茶叶早已被其他商人抢购一空。
he found all the tea had already been snapped up by other businessmen.

情急之中,
Worried,

他突然想到一个---1---,
he suddenly had (A an idea B. a thing C. a friend D. a place)

把当地装茶叶的筐全部给买了下来,
buy up all the baskets which the locals use to pack the tea,

当其他商人准备将茶叶---2---时,
then, when the other businessmen prepare to (A. sell B. purchase C. leave D. transport back) their tea

才发现已经没有箩筐可买,
they will discover there are no wicker baskets left to buy,

无奈只得向这位商人求购。
and they will have to buy the baskets they need from this Northerner.

结果这位北方商人轻而易举地在这些人身上赚了一大笔,
with the result that the Northerner could earn a packet with ease,

还---3---了往北方运回茶叶的费用和麻烦,
also (A sell B. spend C. saving himself D. leave behind) the cost and trouble of transport,

直接将钱带回了家。
and just take the money home.

在很多时候,
Many times,

成功与失败之间,---4---。
success or failure are,

A. 非常远 B. 只有一步的距离 C. 没有关系 D. 需要好好儿思考和准备
(A far apart B only a short step apart C unrelated D need careful consideration and preparation)

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I see what you mean. The explanation of the book is wrong and misleading.

Why the book's explanation is wrong

The only one we are certain that 去南方收购 and that 应该是“回北方” is the main character of our story. We don't know nothing about the others. Maybe some of them came from the North, maybe not. The interpretation given by the author of the book is not in line with what the given text actually says.

What the text actually says

In the text, nowhere is said (and not even implied) that all the 其他商人 had traveled from somewhere else to buy tea leaves, as there is no mention that they intended to transport the tea back to their point of origin. At the same time, the text does not rule out that at least some of them had to.

  • 有位北方商人去南方
    What we know is that he is from the North and that he is directed to the South. This phrase gives no basis to say that he is the only one. Maybe he is, maybe not.
  • 当其他商人准备将茶叶---2---时
    The point is: is here the text referring to all 其他商人? Absolutely not. The assumption of them being all has no basis. The plan of the main character is to sell baskets to those among the 其他商人 who needed to 运回 the tea. Transport where? He certainly didn't care, so we don't either. Some 其他商人 maybe planned to 卖出 (option A) tea directly on the spot, but they certainly were not the target of the main character in his attempt to sell baskets. Some others 其他商人 maybe still needed to 收购 (option B) some tea, or some more others 其他商人 maybe planned to 存放 (option C) it instead, but they were not the target of the main character as well. His target were those who 准备将茶叶运回, because they certainly needed baskets! And apparently he found enough of them to make a lot of money.

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