Negation Test for Required Assumption Qs

• April 4, 2016 at 6:02 pm #1657
marcosacabello
Participant

Hi all,

I’ve been doing some Required Assumption drilling and noticed that these questions may involve conditional logic in the answer choices.

I am not quite sure how to go about negating a conditional statement.

For example say: If I went out, then I went to the movies.

Is the negation: If I went out, I didn’t go to the movies?

In addition to that, I am wondering if have to negate multiple parts of a statement.

Say I have this statement (taken from PT 52.2.9): “Some of the museum’s employees are not paid significantly more than the minimum wage.”

Does this mean I negate “some” AND “not” or just one of the two?

• April 4, 2016 at 8:06 pm #1658
marcosacabello
Participant

Heres another example from an actual PT (55.3.19) that turned out to be the right answer that I didn’t know how to negate:

“An ideal bureaucracy will never be permanently without complaints about problems that are not covered by that bureaucracy’s regulations.”

As it relates, how do you negate “never?” Is it always or sometimes?

• April 7, 2016 at 10:50 am #1692
blakemoore
Participant

For example say: If I went out, then I went to the movies.

Is the negation: If I went out, I didn’t go to the movies?

This negation goes a bit too far. A better statement is “If I went out, then I may or may not have gone to the movies.”

By negating a conditional statement, we don’t jump to the polar opposite. We simply rewrite the statement in such a way that the antecedent no longer implies the consequent.

“Some of the museum’s employees are not paid significantly more than the minimum wage.”

The negation of “some” is “none,” which leads us to  “None of the employees are not paid significantly more than the minimum wage.” However, this reads horribly due to the double negative (“none” and “not”). So let’s take that out: “All of the employees are paid significantly more than the minimum wage.” Now that’s something we can work with.

“An ideal bureaucracy will never be permanently without complaints about problems that are not covered by that bureaucracy’s regulations.”

The negation of “never” is usually “sometimes.” But in this case, “sometimes” makes no sense (sometimes permanently?). What we need to negate is the idea that the bureaucracy will never be without complaints permanently. In other words, we want to convey that it is possible for the bureaucracy to permanently run out of complaints. To do this, I’ll use “could potentially be” in our negation: “An ideal bureaucracy could potentially be permanently without complaints about problems that are not covered by that bureaucracy’s regulations.”

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