Answer to Watch Out for This Challenging HSK4 Quiz

Answer: B

4. Jīntiān wǒ xiǎng zǎodiǎn huí jiā.
今 天   我    想    早  点    回 家。
Today I want to go home early.

2. Kàn le kàn shǒubiǎo cái sì diǎn.
看   了 看    手   表   才 四  点。
I read my watch and it is only four o’clock.

1. Guò le yìhuǐ’r zài kàn biǎo, háishì sì diǎn.
过  了 一会儿 再 看   表, 还 是 四 点。
After a while, I checked again, it is still four o’clock.

3. Wǒ zhè cái fāxiàn wǒ de shǒubiǎo bù zǒu le.
我    这  才 发现   我  的   手   表   不  走 了。
I then realized my watch doesn’t work.

This quiz is a short paragraph that is out of sequence. After reading these four sentences, we get a general idea that it is about a person who wants to go home early and realizes that his or her watch doesn’t work.
First, we can conclude that sentence 2 should go before sentence 1 because it says “看手表 (kàn shǒubiǎo) reading the watch” and “再看表 (zài kàn biǎo) reading the watch again.” Then we can try to locate the subject of the paragraph. Of all sentences, only sentence 3 and sentence 4 have a clear subject, i.e “我 (wǒ).” After comparing these two sentences, we know we should put sentence 4 first since it also has an adverbial of time “今天 (jīn tiān) today”, which often works as the beginning of a sentence in Chinese, for example, “今天早上我起晚了(jīn tiān zǎo shàng wǒ qǐ wǎn le) I woke up late this morning.” As for sentence 3, it is the result of reading the watch, so it should be put after sentence 1.
Finally, we can achieve the right order of 4-2-1-3.
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