## Test26 Section 3 #24

Prepare for the LSAT or discuss it with others in this forum.
mz253

Posts: 319
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:18 pm

### Test26 Section 3 #24

Doesn't make any sense to me. it quantifies "individuals who buy new cars today", why does it have to do the proportion of sales?

mz253

Posts: 319
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:18 pm

### Re: Test26 Section 3 #24

skip james

Posts: 262
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:53 am

### Re: Test26 Section 3 #24

Premise: Average Price (over 25 years) paid for a new car has increased relative to average income of an individual.

Conclusion: Individuals who buy new cars spend more relative to their income than there counterparts 25 years ago.

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Look, the argument has a single premise and a conclusion, so structurally, it's simple. But that doesn't mean it's easy. In fact, for these sorts of arguments, the trick lies in a subtlety. In this particular argument, the trick lies in a grammatical subtlety (and this is pretty huge in really understanding the tricks of the LSAT, looking at the grammar, that is).

In the premise the author talks about the average price of a new car RELATIVE to the average income OF AN INDIVIDUAL.

We could express that idea like this:

the [average price spent on a new car] RELATIVE to [the average income of individuals] has gone up over 25 years.

the conclusion however, says that the individuals spend, on average, more relative to THEIR incomes than 25 years ago.

So first, anytime I see an 'ambiguous noun', as I call it, anything like 'their, that, his, her, etc' I always replace it with the original, more clear, noun. Here, the word 'THEIR' refers to INDIVIDUALS.

so we could express the conclusion like this (and I will express it in the same 'form' as the premise):

the [average price spent on a new car by individuals] relative to [the average income of individuals] has gone up over 25 years.

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Since I went through the trouble of (1) reinterpreting the premise and conclusion into the basic idea and then (2) made the effort to express the conclusion and premise in parallel structure, the gap becomes clear. The premise:

the [average price spent on a new car] RELATIVE to [aver income of individuals] has gone up over 25 years.

differs from the conclusion:

the [average price spent on a new car by INDIVIDUALS] relative to [the average income of individuals] has gone up over 25 years.

in that the average price spent buying a new car DOES NOT have to be the average price spent buying a new car by individuals. The former group can include NON-individuals (I would assume families or something), while the latter group doesn't include NON-individuals.

If this were a strengthen question, the correct answer would be the one that tried to make [the average price spent on a new car] EQUIVALENT to [the average price spent on a new car BY INDIVIDUALS].

Since this is a weaken, the correct answer MUST make the [the average price spent on a new car] different from the [average price spent on a new car by individuals]. Hence E.

sayan

Posts: 321
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:05 am

### Re: Test26 Section 3 #24

Actually I think E is the answer because it suggests that more used cars are being sold which could have increased less relative to individuals' income over the same period thus calling into question the conclusion that people are spending more relative to their income on cars.

I think the subtlety is in the phrasing "price paid for a new car". For some people, that could mean a car that is replacing the old car, whether the new car is used or not, and so one could misconstrue E as a non-weakener.

skip james

Posts: 262
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:53 am

### Re: Test26 Section 3 #24

sayan wrote:Actually I think E is the answer because it suggests that more used cars are being sold which could have increased less relative to individuals' income over the same period thus calling into question the conclusion that people are spending more relative to their income on cars.

er... that doesn't actually work.

E says this: sales to individuals make up a smaller proportion of all new car sales than they did 25 years ago.

So answer choice E doesn't even broach the subject of car sales that don't involve new cars. The basic idea behind answer choice E is that if individuals make up a smaller proportion of new car sales than 25 years ago, then there is larger proportion of non-individuals who are buying news cars than 25 years ago.

Thus, if that is true, then the relative increase of the average price of a new car being sold to an individual's income would not suggest that the amount an individual spent on a new car has increased relative to that individual's income, since the increase in the average price of a new car being sold could be attributable to this other group of non-individuals. For all we know, the average price that individuals spend buying new cars could have stayed the same or dropped, if the non-individuals buying new cars made up that difference and thus accounted for the rise in the average price of buying a new car over the last 25 years.

mz253

Posts: 319
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:18 pm

### Re: Test26 Section 3 #24

thank you guys so much!!
skip james, are you a LSAT tutor or something? it seems that your answer is really really professional