"Some" vs "Many"

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PDaddy
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Re: "Some" vs "Many"

Postby PDaddy » Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:03 am

chicagobullsfan wrote:Was going through the LR bible and found a question where they have a Stimulus with a premise starting with "many." the correct answer has been paraphrased but it starts with "some." are they saying that some = many? or does many include some, thus allowing some to appear as the right answer.

Thanks.


"Some" = "more than zero"; "many" would encompass "some". All else held constant, you can always infer "some" from a stimulus that asks you to accept "many". Was it an inference question? They just want to see how susceptible you are to the Pavlov's Dogs syndrome...i.e., whether you will be swayed to avid a perfectly sound answer because it uses different wording.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: "Some" vs "Many"

Postby Bildungsroman » Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:21 am

How did this thread get so long?

On the LSAT, the words "some" and "many" mean exactly the same thing: one or more.

dakatz
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Re: "Some" vs "Many"

Postby dakatz » Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:44 pm

Bildungsroman wrote:How did this thread get so long?

On the LSAT, the words "some" and "many" mean exactly the same thing: one or more.


The kid showed me a questions where two answer choices are exactly same, but for the change of the word "some" and "many". If the words are interchangeable, then the two answers are exactly the same. So this is not correct. Again, I tutor these "must be true" questions all the time, and if you assume the words to be interchangeable, then many questions would make no sense at all. However, if you use the definitions I mentioned above, ironically, the correct answer is always clear. Thus, it is obvious that LSAT does NOT want you to equate the two words.

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Patriot1208
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Re: "Some" vs "Many"

Postby Patriot1208 » Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:48 pm

In my studying experience, the key here is just RC. If the passage/stimulus uses the term some, then don't pick the answer that says many.

dakatz
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Re: "Some" vs "Many"

Postby dakatz » Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:52 pm

PDaddy wrote:
chicagobullsfan wrote:Was going through the LR bible and found a question where they have a Stimulus with a premise starting with "many." the correct answer has been paraphrased but it starts with "some." are they saying that some = many? or does many include some, thus allowing some to appear as the right answer.

Thanks.


"Some" = "more than zero"; "many" would encompass "some". All else held constant, you can always infer "some" from a stimulus that asks you to accept "many". Was it an inference question? They just want to see how susceptible you are to the Pavlov's Dogs syndrome...i.e., whether you will be swayed to avid a perfectly sound answer because it uses different wording.


It was the one about crimes and lawlessness, where it says that there must be a law in order for there to be a crime. I don't want to be too specific and I don't know exactly where the question is from. But the passage implies that, if someone commits a crime, there must be a law. The correct answer is phrased similar to the following:

"If there is some crime, then there are some laws"

An incorrect answer states:

"If there are many crimes, then there are many laws"

I told him/her that the 2nd one is wrong since there could just be a huge number of infractions of the same law, even if that one law is the only one the town has.

Yes, you can take "many" and assume some, since many implies at least one. But I don't see or understand why "some" (which means as little as one), could be assumed to be "many", since there is the possibility that I was simply referring to a singular phenomenon when I said "some".

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Gemini
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Re: "Some" vs "Many"

Postby Gemini » Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:23 pm

Is "few" the same as "some?"

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Anaconda
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Re: "Some" vs "Many"

Postby Anaconda » Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:46 pm

Gemini Hopeful wrote:Is "few" the same as "some?"


They're pretty much interchangeable.

dakatz
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Re: "Some" vs "Many"

Postby dakatz » Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:23 pm

Anaconda wrote:
Gemini Hopeful wrote:Is "few" the same as "some?"


They're pretty much interchangeable.


They are close but not exactly the same. "Some" denotes anything in the range of "at least one" to as many as the whole of a group of things. For example, I could go into a library and say that there are at least some fiction books in the library. Whether there is one fiction book in the library, or whether every single book is fiction, my statement would still be correct. "Some" has concrete boundaries and that is where the difference lies.

"Few" is a term used to denote a small relative quantity. The key term there is relative. I could say that my small town had few murders this year. Lets say we usually have 5, but this year we had 2. On the other hand, I could say that New York City also had few murders this year. Usually they have 200 (I'm totally making numbers up), but this year they only had 150. Obviously, the quantity is totally relative and has no concrete boundaries. So again, don't think of "some" and "few" as interchangeable, as similar as they may seem.

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Anaconda
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Re: "Some" vs "Many"

Postby Anaconda » Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:34 pm

Yes, but I don't think the LSAT would actually ask one to differentiate between some and few, they would be used interchangeably unless the test-makers decide to get really sadistic for one question.

It would probably be few vs. many or few vs. most as the distinctions to be made.

I think few and most could be considered opposites. Few would have to be a minority, while most would have to be a majority. Some and many could fall in between (some people could refer to 60%, while many people could refer to 30%).
Last edited by Anaconda on Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dakatz
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Re: "Some" vs "Many"

Postby dakatz » Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:35 pm

Anaconda wrote:Yes, I don't think the LSAT would actually ask one to differentiate between some and few though, they would be used interchangeably unless the test-makers decide to get really sadistic for one question.

It would probably be few vs. many or few vs. most as the distinctions to be made.


That I agree with. I've never seen a question that turns on one making the distinction between "some" and "few".

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Mattalones
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Re: "Some" vs "Many"

Postby Mattalones » Sun Jul 25, 2010 6:34 pm

I am glad that people came back to my old thread. This was a fun one.

Reading back through the 18th, I am liking the posts! They are poking at the heart of the issue. From taking a look at everyone's contributions, the argument seems to be turning into whether or not "some" and "many" can be interchanged. Actually, it just depends on the inference you're trying to make; sometimes it will lead to a false statement and sometimes it won't. I'll elaborate ...

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The easiest way to see the very subtle difference between "some" and "many" is with an example that makes a transitive inference. Consider the following pairs of premises, which I'll use in a bit.

FIRST PAIR OF PREMISES
Every lawyer has read many cases
Sarah is a lawyer

SECOND PAIR OF PREMISES
Every employed lawyer has some clients
Sarah is an employed lawyer

Considering just these two pairs of premises, I'll make 4 conclusions. It should show the difference pretty clearly. I will make the first two conclusions with the first pair of premises above, and I will make the last two conclusions with the second pair of premises (I've copied and pasted the premises as well to avoid confusion):

FIRST TWO CONCLUSIONS (from first pair of premises)
Every lawyer has read many cases
Sarah is a lawyer

Conclusion #1 - Valid
Sarah has read many cases
(This one's easy. It just follows from the two premises.)

Conclusion #2
Sarah has read some cases - Valid
(This doesn't really "follow" but it is true. If she read many cases, then has she read some? ... Of course!)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

SECOND TWO CONCLUSIONS (from second pair of premises)
Every employed lawyer has some clients
Sarah is an employed lawyer

Conclusion #3 - Invalid
Sarah has many clients
(Now this one doesn't follow because of the difference between "some" and "many." If sarah has only 1 client, she can be an employed lawyer. But that certainly doesn't mean that she has "many" clients.)

Conclusion #4 - Valid
Sarah has some clients
(Again, this is one is easy because it just follows from the premises.)
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Conclusions 1 & 2 make transitive inferences with "many" as a quantifier in an "all/every" statement.
C1: Many --> Many
C2: Many --> Some

BOTH ARE VALID BECAUSE "MANY" > "SOME"

Conslusions 3 & 4 make transitive inferences with "some" as a quantifier in an "all/every" statement.
C3: Some --> Many
C4: Some --> Some

BOTH ARE NOT VALID BECAUSE "SOME" < "MANY"

In the above conclusions, we concluded "some" from "many," which is valid. We also concluded "many" from "some," which was invalid. Let's call conluding "some" from "many" inferring down in this context. And, let's call concluding "many" from "some" inferring up.

Moral of the story (Rule for "Some" vs "Many"):
IT IS OKAY TO INFER DOWN, BUT NOT UP.

hth

:D

P.S. "some" vs "few" has an even more subtle difference, but it doesn't matter at all for the LSAT. I don't want to explain it ... Too much. Look up "Logic of Plurality." It is a book about that distinction and even has exercises for you to do that involve "few" as a quantifier. It's setup like a math book (explanation, example, problems). Let me know if you work through it. I have and am interested to see what others thought of it.

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Wrong Marx
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Re: "Some" vs "Many"

Postby Wrong Marx » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:34 pm

sirhitch wrote: i scored constantly in the 170's. i have never ever ever ever thought twice about the difference between some and many on the lsat. the points i lost on the lsat were not due to some or many mistakes. for test purposes, they are the same thing. period.


When I reviewed PT1, S4, Q21, I thought twice about the difference between "some" and "many". But, I understand what you're saying here. Since that distinction was not tested in the 69 PTs since, it's probably not going to be tested again any time soon. Still, I thought it would have come in handy to have thought about the difference before taking PT1, even all the way out here in 2013.

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SecondWind
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Re: "Some" vs "Many"

Postby SecondWind » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:58 pm

In regards to PT30QS3P1

The use of "many" on LSAT is frustratingly vague. For the most part, in Logical Reasoning, it behooves us to think of "many" the same way we do "some" (i.e., at least one).

The reason for this is that we CANNOT equate "many" with "most", and lots of trap answers will lure us into doing so.

'Many' is a really subjective measurement.

I could say "many types of fast-food are bad for your health"
and "many children get struck by lightning each year" and we could be talking about wildly different numbers/percentages.

'Many' sort of plays off our expectations of how common/rare something is to begin with, so we might say that 10 kids getting hit by lightning is "many" if we think that figure is surprisingly high.

However, "many" does mean something different from "some".

While "some" literally means "at least one" and thus only needs one example to support it, "many" must mean some sort of plurality greater than one, so it needs more than one example to support it.

Quick example:
Brad is an actor.

From this I am allowed to infer that "some actors are named Brad".

I would not be allowed to infer that "many actors are named Brad".

I need at least a few examples of Brad-actors to justify 'many'.

In terms of Q6 choice (A), there are a couple issues I would use to eliminate it:

1. "many times" larger would have to be a minimum of 2 or 3 times larger to qualify as "many times" larger.

Even though you can say that one quantity is 1.1 times another, you wouldn't use the expression "many times larger" for that sort of relationship.

The "many times" implies integers ... is it 2 times larger? 3 times larger? 4 times larger? etc.

And the fact is that line 23 doesn't give us any way to approximate the extent to which current okapi estimates are bigger than previously thought.

If there are 30% more okapis than previously thought, that would go along with "they're not as rare as some zoologists think", but it would NOT go along with "there are many times as many okapis as zoologists thought". (30% more means there's 1.3 times as many)

2. (A) generalizes about "zoologists", but the 2nd paragraph is careful to distinguish between "some zoologists" who thought okapis were rare and others who thought okapis were just out of sight (lines 16-18). Line 23 is only saying that okapis aren't as rare as SOME zoologists thought. (A), meanwhile, generalizes about all zoologists.


Credit: ohthatpatrick, MLSAT




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