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宝宝的口味跟成人的口味有着很大的差异,于是给宝宝烹调食物时一定要符合他的口味,做到色香味俱全,并且要经常花样翻新。
HSK6 H61218 Q.59

This is a HSK6 practice exam, 语病 ("faulty wording") question. Ref. changes 于是 to 所以, and my teacher also says this is the problem. It also seems to be related to the sentence:

宝宝的口味跟成人的口味有着很大的差异,因此,给宝宝烹调食物时一定要符合他的口味,做到色香味俱全,并且要经常花样翻新。

But 于是, 所以, and 因此 all mean something like "therefore", so what's the problem? I would like help understanding why 于是 is wrong here so I can apply the logic in other circumstances.

Question: What is wrong with 于是 in 宝宝的口味跟成人的口味有着很大的差异,于是给宝宝烹调食物时一定要符合他的口味,做到色香味俱全,并且要经常花样翻新?

3 Answers 3

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于是 always followed by an inevitable or natural course of action

Example:

  • 没钱买面包于是改吃蛋糕 (没钱买面包 inevitably or naturally lead to the action of 改吃蛋榚)

  • 没钱买面包因此改吃蛋糕 (没钱买面包 is the reason for 改吃蛋榚)

宝宝的口味跟成人的口味有着很大的差异,于是,给宝宝烹调食物时一定要符合他的口味,做到色香味俱全,并且要经常花样翻新。

  • 宝宝的口味跟成人的口味有着很大的差异(因此 - is the reason) 给宝宝烹调食物时一定要符合他的口味,做到色香味俱全,并且要经常花样翻新。(O)

  • 宝宝的口味跟成人的口味有着很大的差异 (于是 - lead to ) 给宝宝烹调食物时一定[要]符合他的口味,做到色香味俱全,并且[要]经常花样翻新。(X) -- It is not a course of action but a list of statement

  • 宝宝的口味跟成人的口味有着很大的差异 (于是 - lead to ) 给宝宝烹调食物时我们就盡量符合他的口味,做到色香味俱全,并且经常花样翻新。(O) -- now it is a course of action

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Quote:- "...so I can apply the logic in other circumstances"

I don't think logic helps here.

At first glance all three words, as you say, "appear" to mean "therefore", and it seems to be more a hairsplitting exercise. Not so. This is a test of knowledge of the basic meaning of root words in a compound.

Let's take each word in turn.

于是 We all know 是 means "is", "yes", "correct" Not much help here for our problem. But what does 于 means fundamentally? It means many things in different context, but "therefore" is not its default meaning. It is more a kind of preposition, like, "for", "at", "when" So, intrinsically not suitable for our purpose as it seems more suitable for "future" course of events then a "follow-on" from past causes.

因此 This is more complex. 因 is "because", "the reason for...", and 此 is just "that", "this". So 因此 becomes "this is because" But in our problem the actions follow the past behavior of the baby, and 因此 implies some "future causes / actions", not past. It appears closer for use in our problem then 于是, but still does not "sound" 100% right.

所以, 所 -- "in such a situation / event", and 以-- "in accordance with / accordingly", so together we get "in accordance with such a situation / event". Sounds more like what we want as the baby's past behavior, (situation / event), requires taking certain future actions in accordance therewith.

So, of the three possible choices, without splitting hairs, perhaps 所以 is appropriate. Also, generally, "therefore" is the default meaning when translating 所以.

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宝宝的口味跟成人的口味有着很大的差异,于是给宝宝烹调食物时一定要符合他的口味,做到色香味俱全,并且要经常花样翻新。

宝宝的口味跟成人的口味有着很大的差异 raised a concern (difference) and the following elaborates how we should deal with it. It's not a reason-why pattern.

宝宝的口味跟成人的口味有着很大的差异 is not the cause of anything here.

So, 于是 should not be used. To correct the sentence, we can simply remove it.

宝宝的口味跟成人的口味有着很大的差异,给宝宝烹调食物时一定要符合他的口味,做到色香味俱全,并且要经常花样翻新。

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