If the law punishes littering, then the city has an : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# If the law punishes littering, then the city has an

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If the law punishes littering, then the city has an [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2008, 02:55
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If the law punishes littering, then the city has an obligation to provide trash cans. But the law does not punish littering, so the city has no such obligation.

Which one of the following exhibits a flawed pattern of reasoning most similar to that in the argument above?

(A) If today is a holiday, then the bakery will not be open. The bakery is not open for business. Thus today is a holiday.
(B) Jenny will have lots of balloons at her birthday party. There are no balloons around yet, so today is not her birthday.
(C) The new regulations will be successful only if most of the students adhere to them. Since most of the students will adhere to those regulations, the new regulations will be successful.
(D) In the event that my flight had been late, I would have missed the committee meeting. Fortunately, my flight is on time. Therefore, I will make it to the meeting.
(E) When the law is enforced, some people are jailed. But no one is in jail. So clearly the law is not enforced.

I do not have an OA
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Re: CR : Pattern of reasoning [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2008, 07:22
amitdgr wrote:
If the law punishes littering, then the city has an obligation to provide trash cans. But the law does not punish littering, so the city has no such obligation.

Which one of the following exhibits a flawed pattern of reasoning most similar to that in the argument above?

(A) If today is a holiday, then the bakery will not be open. The bakery is not open for business. Thus today is a holiday.
(B) Jenny will have lots of balloons at her birthday party. There are no balloons around yet, so today is not her birthday.
(C) The new regulations will be successful only if most of the students adhere to them. Since most of the students will adhere to those regulations, the new regulations will be successful.
(D) In the event that my flight had been late, I would have missed the committee meeting. Fortunately, my flight is on time. Therefore, I will make it to the meeting.
(E) When the law is enforced, some people are jailed. But no one is in jail. So clearly the law is not enforced.

I do not have an OA

These reasoning questions always confuse the hell out of me..

The stimulus is of the structure; If X is true, then Y must happen. But, X is not true, so Y need not happen

In D, :
X = If flight had been late
Y = would have missed the meeting
But, flight was not late, so I will make it to the meeting

My pick is D.
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Re: CR : Pattern of reasoning [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2008, 09:16
kman wrote:
amitdgr wrote:
If the law punishes littering, then the city has an obligation to provide trash cans. But the law does not punish littering, so the city has no such obligation.

Which one of the following exhibits a flawed pattern of reasoning most similar to that in the argument above?

(A) If today is a holiday, then the bakery will not be open. The bakery is not open for business. Thus today is a holiday.
(B) Jenny will have lots of balloons at her birthday party. There are no balloons around yet, so today is not her birthday.
(C) The new regulations will be successful only if most of the students adhere to them. Since most of the students will adhere to those regulations, the new regulations will be successful.
(D) In the event that my flight had been late, I would have missed the committee meeting. Fortunately, my flight is on time. Therefore, I will make it to the meeting.
(E) When the law is enforced, some people are jailed. But no one is in jail. So clearly the law is not enforced.

I do not have an OA

These reasoning questions always confuse the hell out of me..

The stimulus is of the structure; If X is true, then Y must happen. But, X is not true, so Y need not happen

In D, :
X = If flight had been late
Y = would have missed the meeting
But, flight was not late, so I will make it to the meeting

My pick is D.

I arrived at D by same logic.

Structure: If X then Y; if not X then not Y.

A,B,C and E all have something to the effect of if Y then X or not Y then not X; therefore D is the only one with the correct structure
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Re: CR : Pattern of reasoning [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2008, 10:41
amitdgr wrote:
If the law punishes littering, then the city has an obligation to provide trash cans. But the law does not punish littering, so the city has no such obligation.

Which one of the following exhibits a flawed pattern of reasoning most similar to that in the argument above?

(A) If today is a holiday, then the bakery will not be open. The bakery is not open for business. Thus today is a holiday.
(B) Jenny will have lots of balloons at her birthday party. There are no balloons around yet, so today is not her birthday.
(C) The new regulations will be successful only if most of the students adhere to them. Since most of the students will adhere to those regulations, the new regulations will be successful.
(D) In the event that my flight had been late, I would have missed the committee meeting. Fortunately, my flight is on time. Therefore, I will make it to the meeting.
(E) When the law is enforced, some people are jailed. But no one is in jail. So clearly the law is not enforced.

I do not have an OA

based on sufficient and necessary conditions we need to find a mistaken negation as in the stimulus

A is a mistaken reversal flaw
B is a mistaken negation
C is a mistaken reversal
D is not flawed its a contra positive
E is also a contrapositive

I'll go with B
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Re: CR : Pattern of reasoning [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2008, 11:10
If the law punishes littering (ACTION) , then the city has an obligation to provide trash cans (OBLIGATION OR POST CONDITION). But the law does not punish littering (NO ACTION), so the city has no such obligation (NO OBLIGATION OR POST CONDITION).

Which one of the following exhibits a flawed pattern of reasoning most similar to that in the argument above?

(A) If today is a holiday (PRE-CONDITION), then the bakery will not be open (ACTION). The bakery is not open for business(ACTON) . Thus today is a holiday (NO-PRECONDITION). – No matching with the main argument template – eliminate it

(B) Jenny will have lots of balloons at her birthday party (PRE-CONDITION). There are no balloons around yet (NO PRE-CONDITION), so today is not her birthday (NO ACTION). – No matching with the main argument template – eliminate it

(C) The new regulations will be successful (PRE-CONDITION) only if most of the students adhere to them (ACTION). Since most of the students will adhere to those regulations (SINCE ACTION), the new regulations will be successful (CONDITION). – No matching with the main argument template – eliminate it

(D) In the event that my flight had been late (ACTION), I would have missed the committee meeting (POST CONDITION). Fortunately, my flight is on time (NO ACTION). Therefore, I will make it to the meeting (OBLIGATION) .

(E) When the law is enforced, some people are jailed. But no one is in jail. So clearly the law is not enforced. – No matching with the main argument template – eliminate it

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Re: CR : Pattern of reasoning [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2008, 18:32
hanumayamma wrote:
If the law punishes littering (ACTION) , then the city has an obligation to provide trash cans (OBLIGATION OR POST CONDITION). But the law does not punish littering (NO ACTION), so the city has no such obligation (NO OBLIGATION OR POST CONDITION).

Which one of the following exhibits a flawed pattern of reasoning most similar to that in the argument above?

(A) If today is a holiday (PRE-CONDITION), then the bakery will not be open (ACTION). The bakery is not open for business(ACTON) . Thus today is a holiday (NO-PRECONDITION). – No matching with the main argument template – eliminate it

(B) Jenny will have lots of balloons at her birthday party (PRE-CONDITION). There are no balloons around yet (NO PRE-CONDITION), so today is not her birthday (NO ACTION). – No matching with the main argument template – eliminate it

(C) The new regulations will be successful (PRE-CONDITION) only if most of the students adhere to them (ACTION). Since most of the students will adhere to those regulations (SINCE ACTION), the new regulations will be successful (CONDITION). – No matching with the main argument template – eliminate it

(D) In the event that my flight had been late (ACTION), I would have missed the committee meeting (POST CONDITION). Fortunately, my flight is on time (NO ACTION). Therefore, I will make it to the meeting (OBLIGATION) .

(E) When the law is enforced, some people are jailed. But no one is in jail. So clearly the law is not enforced. – No matching with the main argument template – eliminate it

OA is D.

Can you explain the terms briefly ??

Pre-condition,Action,Obligation,Post-condition ??

Thanks
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Re: CR : Pattern of reasoning [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2008, 20:48
amitdgr wrote:

OA is D.

Can you explain the terms briefly ??

Pre-condition,Action,Obligation,Post-condition ??

Thanks

Yep. I agree. Can some one care to explain the basic concept of similar pattern Q's
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Re: CR : Pattern of reasoning [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2008, 22:46
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This is actually an LSAT question (PrepTest 28, Section 3, Q. 21), not a GMAT question. You could see a question such as this on the GMAT, but the chance is fairly low. On the LSAT, you are guaranteed to see more than one of them. At Kaplan, we cover this kind of question fairly thoroughly in the LSAT course, but we not in the GMAT course: It's just not all that important for your test score.

prince13 and kman have correctly identified the structure of the argument in the question and in choice D: "If X is true, then Y is true. But X is not true, therefore Y is not true." This reasoning contains one version of the oldest logical flaw there is: If A then B; therefore, if not A then not B. This reasoning is incorrect because "if A then B" tells us ONLY about the consequences of A being true. It tells us NOTHING about the consequences of A NOT being true. Example: The statement "If I break my leg, then I will go to hospital" does NOT tell us anything about what might happen if I do NOT break my leg. Even if it is true, it clearly does NOT mean that if I DON'T break my leg I will NOT go to hospital; I might have to go to hospital because I broke my arm. As bigtreezl says, this reasoning is a mistaken negation.

The other version of the same logical flaw is: If A then B; therefore, if B then A. This is a mistaken reversal. The same example shows what is wrong with it. Let's take it as true that if I break my leg, I will go to hospital. This clearly does not prove that if I am in hospital, I broke my leg. I could be there because I broke my arm.

The only correct reasoning you can do with a single "if-then" statement is to create the contrapositive: If A then B; therefore, if not B then not A. This reasoning is correct. Let's take it as true that if I break my leg, I will go to hospital. It follows that if I did NOT go to hospital, I must NOT have broken my leg -- because if I had done so, I would have gone.

Note that choice D is NOT a contrapositive, but a mistaken negation. It can be tricky to spot, because the second part of the reasoning negates the first part WITHOUT using the word "not". "Late" is negated as "on time", which actually means "not late". "Miss the meeting" is negated as "make it to the meeting", which actually means "not miss".

The fundamental meaning of an "if-then" statement is that the "if" part is SUFFICIENT to make the "then" part true, but it is not NECESSARY for the "then" part to be true: The "then" part can exist without the "if" part -- because the "if-then" statement doesn't impose any constraints on what can happen when the "if" part is NOT present. Going the other way, the "then" part is NECESSARY in order for the "if" part to be present -- you can't have the "if" WITHOUT the "then" -- but the "then" part is not SUFFICIENT to make the "if" part true, because the "then" CAN exist without the "if".

Note that the phrase "only if" does NOT mean "if". It always means "then". For example, "I can vote ONLY if I am over 18" has the same meaning as "If I can vote, then I am over 18". Both statements mean that I MUST be over 18 in order to be able to vote -- but they do NOT guarantee that being over 18 is ENOUGH to give me the right to vote. Other conditions could also exist, e.g., I must not be a convicted felon. Therefore, they do NOT mean "If I am over 18, then I can vote".

I am not sure of the intended meaning of "precondition", "postcondition", "action" and "obligation" in the earlier post. I think they may obscure the most basic point, which is that:

"If A, then B" does NOT prove "If not A, then not B".
"If A, then B" does NOT prove "If B, then A".
"If A, then B" DOES prove "If not B, then not A".

As a certain swamp dwelling puppet with long ears would say: "Learn this well you must, if write the LSAT you will." He might not say that about the GMAT.
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Re: CR : Pattern of reasoning [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2008, 22:54
I ended up choosing B. Can some one explain what is wrong with my interpretation below?

Ballong -> birthday......no baloon---> no birthday.
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Re: CR : Pattern of reasoning [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2008, 22:59
grumpyoldman wrote:
This is actually an LSAT question (PrepTest 28, Section 3, Q. 21), not a GMAT question. You could see a question such as this on the GMAT, but the chance is fairly low. On the LSAT, you are guaranteed to see more than one of them. At Kaplan, we cover this kind of question fairly thoroughly in the LSAT course, but we not in the GMAT course: It's just not all that important for your test score.

I am glad GMAT is not so hard on us.

grumpyoldman wrote:
prince13 and kman have correctly identified the structure of the argument in the question and in choice D: "If X is true, then Y is true. But X is not true, therefore Y is not true." This reasoning contains one version of the oldest logical flaw there is: If A then B; therefore, if not A then not B. This reasoning is incorrect because "if A then B" tells us ONLY about the consequences of A being true. It tells us NOTHING about the consequences of A NOT being true. Example: The statement "If I break my leg, then I will go to hospital" does NOT tell us anything about what might happen if I do NOT break my leg. Even if it is true, it clearly does NOT mean that if I DON'T break my leg I will NOT go to hospital; I might have to go to hospital because I broke my arm. As bigtreezl says, this reasoning is a mistaken negation.

The other version of the same logical flaw is: If A then B; therefore, if B then A. This is a mistaken reversal. The same example shows what is wrong with it. Let's take it as true that if I break my leg, I will go to hospital. This clearly does not prove that if I am in hospital, I broke my leg. I could be there because I broke my arm.

The only correct reasoning you can do with a single "if-then" statement is to create the contrapositive: If A then B; therefore, if not B then not A. This reasoning is correct. Let's take it as true that if I break my leg, I will go to hospital. It follows that if I did NOT go to hospital, I must NOT have broken my leg -- because if I had done so, I would have gone.

Note that choice D is NOT a contrapositive, but a mistaken negation. It can be tricky to spot, because the second part of the reasoning negates the first part WITHOUT using the word "not". "Late" is negated as "on time", which actually means "not late". "Miss the meeting" is negated as "make it to the meeting", which actually means "not miss".

The fundamental meaning of an "if-then" statement is that the "if" part is SUFFICIENT to make the "then" part true, but it is not NECESSARY for the "then" part to be true: The "then" part can exist without the "if" part -- because the "if-then" statement doesn't impose any constraints on what can happen when the "if" part is NOT present. Going the other way, the "then" part is NECESSARY in order for the "if" part to be present -- you can't have the "if" WITHOUT the "then" -- but the "then" part is not SUFFICIENT to make the "if" part true, because the "then" CAN exist without the "if".

Note that the phrase "only if" does NOT mean "if". It always means "then". For example, "I can vote ONLY if I am over 18" has the same meaning as "If I can vote, then I am over 18". Both statements mean that I MUST be over 18 in order to be able to vote -- but they do NOT guarantee that being over 18 is ENOUGH to give me the right to vote. Other conditions could also exist, e.g., I must not be a convicted felon. Therefore, they do NOT mean "If I am over 18, then I can vote".

I am not sure of the intended meaning of "precondition", "postcondition", "action" and "obligation" in the earlier post. I think they may obscure the most basic point, which is that:

"If A, then B" does NOT prove "If not A, then not B".
"If A, then B" does NOT prove "If B, then A".
"If A, then B" DOES prove "If not B, then not A".

Thank you grumpyoldman, for the detailed explanation. My head is spinning as I go through your explanation What patience !! +1 !

Also, What exactly is wrong in Choice B ?

grumpyoldman wrote:
As a certain swamp dwelling puppet with long ears would say: "Learn this well you must, if write the LSAT you will." He might not say that about the GMAT.

Hahaha "a certain swamp dwelling puppet with long ears" = Oracle of standardized tests ??
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Re: CR : Pattern of reasoning [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2008, 23:11
Thanks for the kind words! They train us well in patience at Kaplan, as well as in the material itself.

What is wrong with B: Nothing, actually, which is why it is not the right answer. The reasoning in B goes like this:

If it is Jenny's birthday, there will be lots of balloons. There are no balloons, so it is not her birthday.

This is a correct contrapositive, and we're looking for a mistaken negation.
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Re: CR : Pattern of reasoning [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2008, 23:15
grumpyoldman wrote:
Thanks for the kind words! They train us well in patience at Kaplan, as well as in the material itself.

What is wrong with B: Nothing, actually, which is why it is not the right answer. The reasoning in B goes like this:

If it is Jenny's birthday, there will be lots of balloons. There are no balloons, so it is not her birthday.

This is a correct contrapositive, and we're looking for a mistaken negation.

I sort of get it now .. I need to go through your post few more times to understand this concept better .... Thanks again
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Re: CR : Pattern of reasoning [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2008, 23:33
grumpyoldman wrote:
This is actually an LSAT question (PrepTest 28, Section 3, Q. 21), not a GMAT question. You could see a question such as this on the GMAT, but the chance is fairly low. On the LSAT, you are guaranteed to see more than one of them. At Kaplan, we cover this kind of question fairly thoroughly in the LSAT course, but we not in the GMAT course: It's just not all that important for your test score.

prince13 and kman have correctly identified the structure of the argument in the question and in choice D: "If X is true, then Y is true. But X is not true, therefore Y is not true." This reasoning contains one version of the oldest logical flaw there is: If A then B; therefore, if not A then not B. This reasoning is incorrect because "if A then B" tells us ONLY about the consequences of A being true. It tells us NOTHING about the consequences of A NOT being true. Example: The statement "If I break my leg, then I will go to hospital" does NOT tell us anything about what might happen if I do NOT break my leg. Even if it is true, it clearly does NOT mean that if I DON'T break my leg I will NOT go to hospital; I might have to go to hospital because I broke my arm. As bigtreezl says, this reasoning is a mistaken negation.

The other version of the same logical flaw is: If A then B; therefore, if B then A. This is a mistaken reversal. The same example shows what is wrong with it. Let's take it as true that if I break my leg, I will go to hospital. This clearly does not prove that if I am in hospital, I broke my leg. I could be there because I broke my arm.

The only correct reasoning you can do with a single "if-then" statement is to create the contrapositive: If A then B; therefore, if not B then not A. This reasoning is correct. Let's take it as true that if I break my leg, I will go to hospital. It follows that if I did NOT go to hospital, I must NOT have broken my leg -- because if I had done so, I would have gone.

Note that choice D is NOT a contrapositive, but a mistaken negation. It can be tricky to spot, because the second part of the reasoning negates the first part WITHOUT using the word "not". "Late" is negated as "on time", which actually means "not late". "Miss the meeting" is negated as "make it to the meeting", which actually means "not miss".

The fundamental meaning of an "if-then" statement is that the "if" part is SUFFICIENT to make the "then" part true, but it is not NECESSARY for the "then" part to be true: The "then" part can exist without the "if" part -- because the "if-then" statement doesn't impose any constraints on what can happen when the "if" part is NOT present. Going the other way, the "then" part is NECESSARY in order for the "if" part to be present -- you can't have the "if" WITHOUT the "then" -- but the "then" part is not SUFFICIENT to make the "if" part true, because the "then" CAN exist without the "if".

Note that the phrase "only if" does NOT mean "if". It always means "then". For example, "I can vote ONLY if I am over 18" has the same meaning as "If I can vote, then I am over 18". Both statements mean that I MUST be over 18 in order to be able to vote -- but they do NOT guarantee that being over 18 is ENOUGH to give me the right to vote. Other conditions could also exist, e.g., I must not be a convicted felon. Therefore, they do NOT mean "If I am over 18, then I can vote".

I am not sure of the intended meaning of "precondition", "postcondition", "action" and "obligation" in the earlier post. I think they may obscure the most basic point, which is that:

"If A, then B" does NOT prove "If not A, then not B".
"If A, then B" does NOT prove "If B, then A".
"If A, then B" DOES prove "If not B, then not A".

As a certain swamp dwelling puppet with long ears would say: "Learn this well you must, if write the LSAT you will." He might not say that about the GMAT.

guess i'm rusty on these skills since i havent had to use them on the GMAT

Grumpyoldman, do you have a comprehensive list of CR that would be seen on the LSAT but not the GMAT?
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Re: CR : Pattern of reasoning [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2008, 23:43
Not really. It's mostly a matter of likelihood. The Assumption, Strengthen/Weaken, and Inference questions are common on both. Within these types, the GMAT is less likely to use formal logic. The GMAT is also less likely to use Parallel Reasoning, Method of Argument or Principle questions. I don't think the GMAT ever uses Point at Issue, but that's a prediction and not a guarantee.
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Re: CR : Pattern of reasoning [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2008, 23:50
grumpyoldman wrote:
Not really. It's mostly a matter of likelihood. The Assumption, Strengthen/Weaken, and Inference questions are common on both. Within these types, the GMAT is less likely to use formal logic. The GMAT is also less likely to use Parallel Reasoning, Method of Argument or Principle questions. I don't think the GMAT ever uses Point at Issue, but that's a prediction and not a guarantee.

i studied for the LSAT 6 years ago and I remember logical reasoning being much more difficult than GMAT critical reasoning. I still have alot of LSAT materials that I am currently reviewing so its good to know what I can comfortably skip. Thanks for the insight, you are a great addition to this forum
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Re: CR : Pattern of reasoning [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2008, 23:55
bigtreezl wrote:
Thanks for the insight, you are a great addition to this forum

I agree ... You are a great addition grumpyoldman !! Where were you all these days?
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Re: CR : Pattern of reasoning [#permalink]

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27 Oct 2008, 00:05
1
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I only just heard about this forum from one of my students, so I jumped in. I like intellectual problems.

I work full time as well as teaching at Kaplan, so my participation here is likely to be irregular. It's now 1 am, even here on the west coast, so I had better quit for the night.
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Re: CR : Pattern of reasoning [#permalink]

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27 Oct 2008, 06:39
grumpyoldman, Kudos for a most patient and logical explanation
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Re: CR : Pattern of reasoning [#permalink]

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27 Oct 2008, 07:30
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Re: CR : Pattern of reasoning [#permalink]

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27 Oct 2008, 07:46
My Pick is also D.....nice to see some teachers are also joining this forum.....I am sure, it will be really value addition to my knowledge.....welcome "grumpyoldman"
Re: CR : Pattern of reasoning   [#permalink] 27 Oct 2008, 07:46

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