"As long as"

User avatar
WaltGrace83
Posts: 719
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:55 pm

"As long as"

Postby WaltGrace83 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:34 pm

I haven't seen a thread on this and I am having a hard time finding relevant stuff through the search function. Is "as long as" a conditional phrase?

"I will walk the dog as long as it is sunny outside"

Does this mean: Walk the dog → Sunny outside / ~Sunny outside → ~Walk the dog?

User avatar
90convoy
Posts: 918
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:59 pm

Re: "As long as"

Postby 90convoy » Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:36 pm

Yeah. Sunny outside is a necessary condition for walking the dog.

disregard this
Last edited by 90convoy on Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Straw_Mandible
Posts: 314
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:10 pm

Re: "As long as"

Postby Straw_Mandible » Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:38 pm

.
Last edited by Straw_Mandible on Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Christine (MLSAT)
Posts: 358
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:41 pm

Re: "As long as"

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:52 pm

WaltGrace83, have you seen this come up in a question where the analysis depends on it?

I'm actually inclined to disagree that the 'as long as' is the necessary condition. Think about what you're really saying - I WILL walk the dog, as long as it is sunny. For the amount of time that it is sunny, I am definitely walking that dog. When it's sunny, I'll walk the dog. If it's sunny, I'll walk the dog.

The sunny-ness is the condition that, if fulfilled, will guarantee the dog walking.

The statement doesn't tell you anything about what happens when it isn't sunny. Maybe you'll decide to keep walking the dog, but no guarantees.

This is essentially the same as saying: I WILL walk the dog, unlessit's not sunny.*

That being said, I can't think of a time this has been a critical conditional trigger - I'd love to see the question if it has been.


ETA: *This carries the same biases as 'unless' tends to. If I say to my friend "I'll stay at the party as long as you want to stay", she knows that I'm telling her both that for any given moment 'if she wants to stay, then I'll stay' but there's also a real-life implication that I'm not going to be staying LATER than that. But that's kind of a cultural or idiomatic add-on - what I'm really communicating is that we'll go, stay, and leave together.

But the same thing would happen if I said to my friend "I'll stay at the party til midnight, unless you want to leave early", technically, I've only told her that if she doesn't want to leave early, I'm staying til midnight. Logically speaking, I haven't told her what I'm going to do if she does want to leave early. But in real life, she would know that I mean I'll leave early with her if she decides to.

I'll stay at the party til midnight, unless you want to leave early.
As long as you don't want to leave early, I'll stay at the party til midnight.
Last edited by Christine (MLSAT) on Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

03152016
Posts: 9189
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:14 am

Re: "As long as"

Postby 03152016 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:58 pm

It is sunny outside -> I will walk the dog

Think about this phrase:
"As long as you are a Democrat, you are a politician."

In this scenario, is being a Democrat sufficient to ensure you are a politician? Yes.
Thus, being a politician is a necessary condition of being a Democrat.

Can you be a politician even if you are not a Democrat? Harder to see, but yes.
Consider this: "As long as you are a Democrat, you are a politician. Also, as long as you are a Republican, you are a politician."
Being a politician isn't sufficient to ensure you are a Democrat or a Republican; being a Democrat or a Republican is sufficient to ensure you are a politician.

Make sense?

User avatar
Christine (MLSAT)
Posts: 358
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:41 pm

Re: "As long as"

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:12 pm

It just occured to me that while I can't recall a time that "as long as" was used, I can recall a few instances of the use of "until" as conditional language. "Until" and "as long as" are much easier to see the connection between, I think.

We are going to sit here until you stop crying.

Until functions essentially like "unless". If you haven't stopped crying, we'll still sit here. If we get up, you must have stopped crying.

Saying "As long as it is sunny" is the same as saying "until it is not sunny", in terms of the timeline. That may be a little easier to see than jumping straight to the translation "unless it is not sunny" or "if it is sunny".

As long as it is sunny, I will walk the dog.
Until it is not sunny, I will walk the dog.
Unless it is not sunny, I will walk the dog.
If it is sunny, I will walk the dog.

03152016
Posts: 9189
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:14 am

Re: "As long as"

Postby 03152016 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:13 pm

Christine (MLSAT) wrote:That being said, I can't think of a time this has been a critical conditional trigger - I'd love to see the question if it has been.

Same, don't recall ever seeing it in that context, couldn't find anything online either.

OP, it's a good idea to understand why these terms are sufficient and necessary, but don't bother adding this to your list of indicator words to memorize.

User avatar
WaltGrace83
Posts: 719
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:55 pm

Re: "As long as"

Postby WaltGrace83 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:14 pm

Yea thanks a lot Max and Christine! As for your question, Christine, I wouldn't go as far to say that some answer choices or stimuli have depended on this understanding but I will say that I have seen the phrase come up and it has made me question myself. I remember that it came up when drilling flaw questions from PT1-38. If only there were not 250 flaw questions I would totally look it up for you :lol: .

Also, this may sound like a dumb question (in which case I would say there isn't a such thing), but have you run across anything that would help with conditional logic, Christine? I feel like I need to pick up a textbook or something on conditional logic to get quicker haha. I want to (need to) know these conditional phrases backwards, forwards, contrapositives, upside down, right-side up, etc. I don't like having to question conditional phrases.

The LSAT Trainer
Posts: 621
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 4:57 am

Re: "As long as"

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:17 pm

WaltGrace83 wrote:Yea thanks a lot Max and Christine! As for your question, Christine, I wouldn't go as far to say that some answer choices or stimuli have depended on this understanding but I will say that I have seen the phrase come up and it has made me question myself. I remember that it came up when drilling flaw questions from PT1-38. If only there were not 250 flaw questions I would totally look it up for you :lol: .

Also, this may sound like a dumb question (in which case I would say there isn't a such thing), but have you run across anything that would help with conditional logic, Christine? I feel like I need to pick up a textbook or something on conditional logic to get quicker haha. I want to (need to) know these conditional phrases backwards, forwards, contrapositives, upside down, right-side up, etc. I don't like having to question conditional phrases.


Hey Walt -- I'm not Christine, but if you want to work on speed, you may want to check out the MLSAT Arcade game "If.../Then..." -- MK

03152016
Posts: 9189
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:14 am

Re: "As long as"

Postby 03152016 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:17 pm

Christine (MLSAT) wrote:It just occured to me that while I can't recall a time that "as long as" was used, I can recall a few instances of the use of "until" as conditional language.

Yup yup.

I sometimes teach it like this:

"Except, Without, Until, Unless,
One is the necessary, strike out the rest."

In other words, one of the two conditions is the necessary (doesn't matter which one), and the negation of the remaining condition is the sufficient.

03152016
Posts: 9189
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:14 am

Re: "As long as"

Postby 03152016 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:19 pm

It's a regular LSAT instructor party up in here.

User avatar
WaltGrace83
Posts: 719
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:55 pm

Re: "As long as"

Postby WaltGrace83 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:21 pm

Thanks Max and Mike!

User avatar
Christine (MLSAT)
Posts: 358
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:41 pm

Re: "As long as"

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:28 pm

WaltGrace83 wrote:Also, this may sound like a dumb question (in which case I would say there isn't a such thing), but have you run across anything that would help with conditional logic, Christine? I feel like I need to pick up a textbook or something on conditional logic to get quicker haha. I want to (need to) know these conditional phrases backwards, forwards, contrapositives, upside down, right-side up, etc. I don't like having to question conditional phrases.


Not a dumb question at all! You have the Manhattan LR book, right? I am a huge fan of chapter 8, the chapter on Conditional Logic. I actually make all my classroom students read that chapter multiple times throughout the course. Pay particular attention to p. 342-352, the two sections on 'beyond if/then triggers' and 'except-perhaps/unless'. The thought process there of looking for what is being guaranteed, and by what, is helpful to break down unusual conditional situations. Going through the drills in the entire chapter can help with speed as well.

There's also the LSAT Arcade "if/then" game, which is awesome for making you go autopilot.

After that, I know there is a Cambridge packet on conditional logic, and doing a slew of them could help really increase your pattern recognition for how the LSAT writes conditionals. If you go that route, make yourself diagram each one. Don't just rely on a general sense of what the question is saying, even if it feels obvious, force yourself to formalize it in notation so that it becomes automatic.

It's work, but if you really want your conditional logic to be frictionless, that's the way to do it! A lot of people 'get by' with essential understand that is rough around the edges.

ETA: Jinx Mike! :mrgreen:

User avatar
Christine (MLSAT)
Posts: 358
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:41 pm

Re: "As long as"

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:30 pm

Max324 wrote:It's a regular LSAT instructor party up in here.


I blame the weather. :roll:

User avatar
WaltGrace83
Posts: 719
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:55 pm

Re: "As long as"

Postby WaltGrace83 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:37 pm

Christine (MLSAT) wrote:
WaltGrace83 wrote:Also, this may sound like a dumb question (in which case I would say there isn't a such thing), but have you run across anything that would help with conditional logic, Christine? I feel like I need to pick up a textbook or something on conditional logic to get quicker haha. I want to (need to) know these conditional phrases backwards, forwards, contrapositives, upside down, right-side up, etc. I don't like having to question conditional phrases.


Not a dumb question at all! You have the Manhattan LR book, right? I am a huge fan of chapter 8, the chapter on Conditional Logic. I actually make all my classroom students read that chapter multiple times throughout the course. Pay particular attention to p. 342-352, the two sections on 'beyond if/then triggers' and 'except-perhaps/unless'. The thought process there of looking for what is being guaranteed, and by what, is helpful to break down unusual conditional situations. Going through the drills in the entire chapter can help with speed as well.

There's also the LSAT Arcade "if/then" game, which is awesome for making you go autopilot.

After that, I know there is a Cambridge packet on conditional logic, and doing a slew of them could help really increase your pattern recognition for how the LSAT writes conditionals. If you go that route, make yourself diagram each one. Don't just rely on a general sense of what the question is saying, even if it feels obvious, force yourself to formalize it in notation so that it becomes automatic.

It's work, but if you really want your conditional logic to be frictionless, that's the way to do it! A lot of people 'get by' with essential understand that is rough around the edges.

ETA: Jinx Mike! :mrgreen:


I have all of those things! I'll take another look at that MLR chapter soon and definitely do the arcade game/cambridge.

03152016
Posts: 9189
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:14 am

Re: "As long as"

Postby 03152016 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:42 pm

Christine (MLSAT) wrote:
Max324 wrote:It's a regular LSAT instructor party up in here.


I blame the weather. :roll:

As long as all my students cancel due to 8 inches of snow, I will stay home drinking whiskey and browsing TLS.

The LSAT Trainer
Posts: 621
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 4:57 am

Re: "As long as"

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:02 pm

Max324 wrote:It's a regular LSAT instructor party up in here.


It is!

With this massive gathering of the few people who might be interested in this sort of thing, thought I'd share something you might find amusing --

This is from the Wikipedia description for Stanley Kaplan --

"Kaplan marketed his for-profit company's products on the notion that its tutorials and test preparation materials could increase a student's SAT scores.[1] In 1979, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched an investigation into claims that the test prep industry was advertising its services too aggressively...Leading figures within education, especially higher education, continued to scoff at Kaplan's company, saying that no student could effectively study for the SATs.[1] Educators claimed that the SATs measured a person's "innate ability to learn", not their "actual learning."[1]




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 34iplaw, BobBoblaw, Greenteachurro, Instrumental, malysh, Yahoo [Bot] and 10 guests