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“那是为了让我们的灵魂,能够追得上我们赶了三天路的疲劳的身体。”

多么富有哲理的话!在这个提倡和鼓励竞争的时代,我们常常只顾低头拉车,却少了抬头看路,少了思考、总结这一重要的步骤。

This is from the Standard Course Book of HSK5, section 26. I need your help for understanding this 却少了抬头看路,少了思考、总结这一重要的步骤。

Three questions:

  1. Why two 少了? Isn't one enough? Something like: 却少了抬头看路、思考、总结这一重要的步骤?

  2. Why 一? It is not one, but they are three or four: 1,2) 抬头看路, 3) 思考, 4) 总结.

  3. What does 步骤 = step exactly mean?

I would write it with this way: 却少了抬头看路、思考、总结这些重要的方面。 What is your opinion?

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4 Answers 4

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Why two 少了? Isn't one enough? Something like: 却少了抬头看路、思考、总结这一重要的步骤?

You are correct, one 少了 is enough, but the writer oped for emphasizing the word "少了 (lacking)" more. (an importing thing has to be said three times). It is a writing style choice when you want to sound more passionate about the subject

Example:

  • 我們要一個公平、公正、合理的司法系統 - We want a fair, just and reasonable judicial system (plain)

  • 我們要一個公平的司法系統、我們要一個公正的司法系統、我們要一個合理的司法系統 - We want a fair justice system, we want a fair justice system, and we want a reasonable justice system (passionate - stress every item on the list individually, emphasizing "我們要")

抬头看路、思考、总结 are three steps, so the sentence should be

  • 却少了抬头看路、思考、总结,这一系列(series of)重要的步骤

  • 却少了抬头看路、思考、总结,这幾個(few)重要的步骤

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步骤: here: resting for 1 day to allow the soul to catch up with the body

那是为了让我们的灵魂,
That (= resting for 1 day) is to allow our souls
能够追得上我们赶了三天路的疲劳的身体。”
to catch up with our bodies, which are weary from hurrying along the way for three days.
多么富有哲理的话!
How philosophically replete!
在这个提倡和鼓励竞争的时代,
In this age of promoting and encouraging competition,
我们常常只顾低头拉车,
we are often solely engrossed in bowing our heads to pull our carts,
却少了抬头看路,
but (we) seldom raise our heads to regard the road ahead,
少了思考、总结这一重要的步骤。
(we) seldom stop to think, (we seldom) conclude this important procedure. (of allowing the soul to catch up with the body)

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Why two 少了 isn't one enough?

It is a rhetorical writing technique called "palilogia", i.e., the repetition of a word or phrase in immediate succession, typically within the same sentence, for vehemence or emphasis, utilized to create an emotional appeal, thereby inspiring and motivating the audience. It obviously "motivated" you?

Writing it as -- 总结这些重要的方面?

You might be able to get away with it if you are doing, say, HSK3 or 4, but at HSK5, you are being introduced to words and phrases, which though on the face of it similar in meanings, and perhaps interchangeable, but have the "literary style" needed, or having, in this case, 却少了抬头看路,少了思考、总结这一重要的步骤, by using 步骤 to complement, or "dovetail", the general unifying idea of going on a journey, (hence the 步 part), whether physical, imaginary or philosophically.

And the word 骤 also has the other meaning of emphasizing the suddenness of an "enlightened" realization that, when 我们常常只顾低头拉车, we tend to miss out on the import, the significance of the "road" itself. Something like not seeing the forest for the trees, and in our case so bent on just pulling the cart, we 却少了抬头看路,少了思考....

Hence 方面, in my humble view, do not have the import needed within the literary context of the sentence in question.

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  • 却少了"抬头看路",少了"思考()总结"这一()重要的步骤。

The first 少了 describes the event - "raise one's head to check the road"', and the second 少了 describes one important step - "from think/ponder over to summarize/draw a conclusion".

Note you may eliminate the second 少了 and write the sentence as:

  • 却少了"抬头看路","思考", "总结"这一(系列)的步骤。

一系列的步骤 = 1.抬头看路, 2.思考, 3.总结

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