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这时,赵王正因廉颇闭门不战而生气呢,听到外面的那些谣言,果然上当了,他派赵括去换回廉颇。

This is from the Standard Course Book of HSK5, section 15.

What is the meaning of 去换回? I know that 去回 means to return or to go back and 换 to change or to exchange, but 去换回 really perplexes me.

3 Answers 3

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[]赵括[] = [sent] 赵括 [to]

[换回]廉颇 = [exchange] 廉颇 [back]

去(to go/ to) is acting as a preposition

回 [back] is the verb result particle of 换[exchange]. It indicates the result of the verb

派赵括[] [换回]廉颇 = send 赵括 [to] [exchange] 廉颇 [back]

去 connects the two phrases 派出赵括 and 换回廉颇

派出赵括 (sent 赵括 out)

去 (to)

换回廉颇 (exchange 廉颇 back)

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Once you gained an understanding of the context of this historical story, you should have no trouble understanding the meaning of "去换回".

赵王 was upset with 廉颇's refusal of confronting and fighting the intruding enemy directly, and tricked to believe the widely spread rumor; he fired 廉颇 and sent 赵括 to () replace (下) him. After being replaced by 赵括, 廉颇 had to return (返) to the kingdom to face the consequence of 抗拒皇命.

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在一项囚犯交换协议下,他被换回到英国本土。
Under a prisoner exchange agreement, he was exchanged 换 and returned 回 to British soil.

赵括代替了廉颇。
Zhao Kuo replaced Lian Po.
廉颇回了老家。
Lian Po returned home.

An interesting and very violent story!

秦国看速胜不行,
Qin, seeing that a quick victory was not possible,
便使反间计,
then planned to sow discord,
让赵王相信秦国最担心、最害怕的是用赵括替代廉颇。
by making King Zhao believe that they were very worried, very afraid that Zhao Kuo would replace Lian Po.
赵王求胜心切,
King Zhao, who was eager for victory,
终于中了反间计,
finally fell for the (Qin) misinformation plan,
认为廉颇怯战,
(and) believing Lian Po was afraid to fight,
强行罢廉颇职,
relieved Lian Po of command,
用赵括为将。
(and) used Zhao Po as commanding general.
虽然赵括母亲力谏,指出只知纸上谈兵的赵括不适合担此重任,
although Zhao Kuo's mother strongly remonstrated
指出只知纸上谈兵的赵括不适合担此重任,
pointing out that Zhao Kuo only knew theoretical military tactics and was not suitable to undertake this great task,
但赵王不听,
King Zhao wouldn't listen,
任用赵括为将军。
(and) assigned Zhao Kuo as commanding general.
赵括代替了廉颇的职务后,
After Zhao Kuo took Lian Po's position,
完全改变了廉颇制定的战略部署,
(he) completely changed Lian Po's strategic deployment,
撤换了许多军官。
(and) replaced many officers.
秦国见使用赵括为将,
When Qin heard that Zhao Kuo was general,
便暗中启用武安君白起率兵攻赵。
they secretly enabled Bai Qi of Wu An to lead an army to attack Zhao.
大败赵括军于长平,
He (Bai Qi) defeated Zhao Kuo in Changping,
射杀赵括,
shot Zhao Kuo,
坑杀赵军四十余万,
(and) buried more than 400 000 Zhao soldiers alive,
长平之战赵军共阵亡士兵四十五万。
in the battle of Changping the Zhao army lost more than 450 000 soldiers.

Lian Po lived a long life, he was 84 when he died!

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