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The fire that destroyed the Municipal Building started

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The fire that destroyed the Municipal Building started [#permalink]

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23 Apr 2010, 12:32
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The fire that destroyed the Municipal Building started before dawn this morning, and the last fire fighters did not leave until late this afternoon. No one could have been anywhere in the vicinity of a fire like that one and fail to notice it. Thomas must have seen it, whatever he now says to the contrary. He admits that, as usual, he went from his apartment to the library this morning, and there is no way for him to get from his apartment to the library without going past the Municipal Building.

The main conclusion of the argument is that
(A) Thomas was in the vicinity of the fire this morning
(B) Thomas claimed not to have seen the fire
(C) Thomas saw the fire this morning
(D) Thomas went directly from his apartment to the library this morning
(E) Thomas went by the Municipal Building this morning

I am really confused between B and C. Can anyone specifically explain B and C options?
Thanks

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Re: 1000 CR: Main point [#permalink]

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23 Apr 2010, 12:43
B is the claim that the passage is refuting. C is the conclusion refuting that claim.

Essentially what the passage is saying is this:
1. It's impossible to have walked by and not seen the fire.
2. Thomas claims to have not seen the fire.
3. Thomas walked by the fire.
4. Thomas must have seen the fire.

4 is the conclusion.

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Re: 1000 CR: Main point [#permalink]

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23 Apr 2010, 12:48
I am also confused with B and C options.

The passage says "No one could have been anywhere in the vicinity of a fire like that one and fail to notice it"
and then tries to establish a connection " He admits that, as usual, he went from his apartment to the library this morning, and there is no way for him to get from his apartment to the library without going past the Municipal Building."

I feel C is the correct option. The main point of this passage is to say that Thomas saw the fire this morning.
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Re: 1000 CR: Main point [#permalink]

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23 Apr 2010, 13:24
Thanks he4dhuntr....nicely explained. This was my reasoning which is wrong but in 'conclusion' questions. I took the conclusion as : 'Thomas must have seen it, whatever he now says to the contrary' and hence thought that he 'must have seen it' and not 'surely seen the fire' and hence 'Thomas claiming that he did not see it' sounded more right at the moment becoz of the phrase ' says to the contrary'.

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Re: 1000 CR: Main point [#permalink]

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24 Apr 2010, 01:43
IMO C.
It's a case of misplaced conclusion. Let's break the argument to locate the conclusion:

Premise 1: The fire that destroyed the Municipal Building started before dawn this morning, and the last fire fighters did not leave until late this afternoon.
[This is a fact]
Premise 2: No one could have been anywhere in the vicinity of a fire like that one and fail to notice it. [This is again a fact]

Conclusion: Thomas must have seen it, whatever he now says to the contrary. [This should be the conclusion as supported by the following premise. He could say anything only after his trip from apratment to liabrary]

Premise 3: He admits that, as usual, he went from his apartment to the library this morning, and there is no way for him to get from his apartment to the library without going past the Municipal Building. [This is again a fact]

So, the argument would be like:
The fire that destroyed the Municipal Building started before dawn this morning, and the last fire fighters did not leave until late this afternoon. No one could have been anywhere in the vicinity of a fire like that one and fail to notice it. Thomas admits that, as usual, he went from his apartment to the library this morning, and there is no way for him to get from his apartment to the library without going past the Municipal Building. Thomas must have seen it, whatever he now says to the contrary.

gmatprep09 wrote:
The fire that destroyed the Municipal Building started before dawn this morning, and the last fire fighters did not leave until late this afternoon. No one could have been anywhere in the vicinity of a fire like that one and fail to notice it. Thomas must have seen it, whatever he now says to the contrary. He admits that, as usual, he went from his apartment to the library this morning, and there is no way for him to get from his apartment to the library without going past the Municipal Building.

The main conclusion of the argument is that
(A) Thomas was in the vicinity of the fire this morning [He may have crossed the vicinity before the fire broke. Incorrect]
(B) Thomas claimed not to have seen the fire [We dont know what he said as contrary. Incorrect]
(C) Thomas saw the fire this morning [Correct]
(D) Thomas went directly from his apartment to the library this morning [This is just a stated premise. Incorrect]
(E) Thomas went by the Municipal Building this morning [This is just a stated premise. Incorrect]

I am really confused between B and C. Can anyone specifically explain B and C options?
Thanks

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Re: 1000 CR: Main point [#permalink]

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24 Apr 2010, 02:35
Feel its C

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Re: 1000 CR: Main point [#permalink]

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21 Jun 2010, 11:01
It should be C. The conclusion is - He must have seen the fire.

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Akhil M.Parekh

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Re: 1000 CR: Main point [#permalink]

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24 Jun 2010, 14:57
It has to be C
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Re: 1000 CR: Main point [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2010, 01:52
+1 vote for C. What is the OA?
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Re: The fire that destroyed the Municipal Building started [#permalink]

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01 Mar 2012, 14:09
conclusion: Thomas must have seen it, whatever he now says to the contrary.

ans: c
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Re: The fire that destroyed the Municipal Building started [#permalink]

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01 Mar 2012, 18:24
+1 C

That's the main point of the argument. That's what the author wants to show.
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Re: The fire that destroyed the Municipal Building started [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2012, 07:23
Definitely C. B is not a conclusion. It is just a fact that has already been stated in the premises..

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Re: The fire that destroyed the Municipal Building started [#permalink]

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14 Jan 2013, 22:40
Thomas must have seen it, whatever he now says to the contrary.
(B) Thomas claimed not to have seen the fire (Accepted that this is stated in the premise)
(C) Thomas saw the fire this morning

Considering C as a conclusion calls for more than one assumption(means outside information) ,which we can't afford to have in conclusion based questions.
Moreover, C says that Thomas saw fire this morning:

Assumptions:

(1). Timing of thomas going by his usual way may be such that by that time there wasn't any significant fire to notice.
(2). By the time he crossed the municipal building he could have got a call from his wife,and he did not notice the fire.
(3). Thomas left early at dawn and was not in his consciousness , so whatever he found he blamed his unconsciousness for that.
More are there ...............

Plz explain why (C).

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Saurabh
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Re: The fire that destroyed the Municipal Building started [#permalink]

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15 Jan 2013, 09:06
Hi Target,

I'd have 2 points to think about here:

1) We are asked for the conclusion of the argument - not for a categoric fact. It is clear that the person writing this passage is trying to set up a conclusion that T must have seen the fire.

2) To look at your assumptions, some of them seem a little far fetched. Whilst I agree that we should look for alternatives, we must also be reasonable. I don't think you'd miss an inferno, just because you were on the phone, nor do I think 'sleep walking' or whatever you mean by being 'unconscious' is plausible.

I'm happy with C
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Re: The fire that destroyed the Municipal Building started [#permalink]

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15 Jan 2013, 10:02
plumber250 wrote:
Hi Target,

I'd have 2 points to think about here:

1) We are asked for the conclusion of the argument - not for a categoric fact. It is clear that the person writing this passage is trying to set up a conclusion that T must have seen the fire.

True ,but we have to look clarify that aren't we making assumptions just to draw a conclusion forcefully.

2) To look at your assumptions, some of them seem a little far fetched. Whilst I agree that we should look for alternatives, we must also be reasonable. I don't think you'd miss an inferno, just because you were on the phone, nor do I think 'sleep walking' or whatever you mean by being 'unconscious' is plausible.

That is why I added "More are there............"

I'm happy with C

Despite explanation,I am not convinced !!!!

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Saurabh
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Re: The fire that destroyed the Municipal Building started [#permalink]

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18 Jan 2013, 04:29
Hi Saurabh,

In the conclusion questions the correct answer choice must be true and must logically follow from the stimulus. Incorrect answer choices in such questions are the ones which could be true and not necessarily true. So we have to find the choice which must be true.

The main conclusion of the argument is that
(A) Thomas was in the vicinity of the fire this morning -- Not definitely true from the passage. He could have passed the fire, but not not necessarily being in the vicinity

(B) Thomas claimed not to have seen the fire -- He admits that he went from appt to library, but not that he has not seen the fire, so not necessarily true

(C) Thomas saw the fire this morning -- Yes, this must be true because Thomas can't go to library without passing the building and If he went past the building he must have seen the fire. Therefore this option must be true

(D) Thomas went directly from his apartment to the library this morning -- Thomas went to the library, that's for sure but we cant be sure of "directly"

(E) Thomas went by the Municipal Building this morning -- Thomas went past the Municipal building, "went by" we can't be sure of..

The stimulus says "if someone passes the building he/she will see the fire" you have to take this as true. To state it simply, if you pass the building you will see the fire, even if your wife calls or you are sleep walking (you will still see, however you may not be able to recall; but see the fire, you will.) The statement of seeing the fire is definitely true, so the answer choice (C) is unequivocally true.

In most (almost all) of the GMAT questions if is much easier to POE the choices than to figure out why the correct answer is correct. However in our question above the correct answer is quite clear.

Hope it helps

Vercules
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Re: The fire that destroyed the Municipal Building started [#permalink]

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10 Sep 2013, 04:44
I would argue for A
(A) Thomas was in the vicinity of the fire this morning.
Why? well, it is tempting to choose C. But I think is more of an inference.
We infer from the passage that (I) Thomas is lying and (ii) Thomas has seen the fire. Inference by definition is something we understand from the passage without being explicitly stated. If we add those 2 inferences up, we reach the conclusion that he must have been in the vicinity of the fire, hence he must have seen it.

If anybody can better define conclusion and inferences regarding this passage, please do so and explain how can we clearly define.
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Re: The fire that destroyed the Municipal Building started   [#permalink] 10 Sep 2013, 04:44
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