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有一位工程师甚至专门制造出一种机器,在下面一拉篮筐就能把球弹出来。

This is from the Standard Course Book of HSK5, section 13.

What is the meaning of 拉? In dictionaries there are many meanings, such as to pull, to drag, to play, to draw out, to drag in, to draw in etc... And different pronunciations la1, la2, la3, la4, la5.

Which definition and pronunciation makes sense here?

2 Answers 2

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You need to know some history about the invention of basketball to make sense of this sentence.

In the beginning, people played basketball with a 'basket', those usual baskets with the bottom. So if the player throws the ball into the basket, someone has to climb up and pick the ball out of the basket. Then here comes our sentence:

有一位工程师甚至专门制造出一种机器,在下面一拉篮筐就能把球弹出来。
An engineer even invented the machine so that you bounce the ball out by pulling the basket.

Of course, we know that basketball nowadays is played with baskets without the bottom, but you need some historical reference to understand this sentence.

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Judging solely by this sentence, I'd say it's la1 which means to pull (imagine a lever that, when pulled, generates force to bounce the ball out).

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