## Conditionals - do you use indicators or...?

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stray

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### Conditionals - do you use indicators or...?

When diagramming conditionals do you actually actively read into the statement and try to figure out the sufficient and necessary conditions from there, or do you just use indicator words? IDK if that just made sense.

I feel like I'm trying to figure out a way to differentiate between which one if the sufficient condition and necessary condition (by saying things like "ok, which one is necessary or must occur, if the other one occurs") but have a difficult time. So I have to resort to the indicators.

What do you guys do?

Indicators I'm reffering to.
Sufficient: If, all, any , every, when, whenever, in order to, people who
Necessary: Then, must, only, only if, required, until, unless, except, without

Daily_Double

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### Re: Conditionals - do you use indicators or...?

I just read into the meaning of the relationship. If your looking at a conditional statement, then there must exist a statement sufficient do a certain outcome, and that outcome will always occur if the sufficient condition occurs. The indicators, while helpful, are really just a shortcut to realizing the way the conditionals are working. The more you work through LR, the clearer this appears, so keep working at it.

stray

Posts: 213
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### Re: Conditionals - do you use indicators or...?

Daily_Double wrote:I just read into the meaning of the relationship. If your looking at a conditional statement, then there must exist a statement sufficient do a certain outcome, and that outcome will always occur if the sufficient condition occurs. The indicators, while helpful, are really just a shortcut to realizing the way the conditionals are working. The more you work through LR, the clearer this appears, so keep working at it.
Ok this is probably a dumb question, but I dont think I understand the relationship between the two that clearly, and that's where my trouble is coming from. Do you know what kind of questions (when reading the statement) I can ask myself to make the relationship clearer?

CardozoLaw09

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### Re: Conditionals - do you use indicators or...?

The indicators you listed are the ones you need to look out for when evaluating conditional statements. Once you do enough problems, by drilling, you'll get used to spotting sufficient condition indicators and necessary condition indicators. Words that guarantee an outcome are sufficient triggers ie) Every X is Y; Any A is B, All Cs are Bs, etc...

There's no "active" reading involved; it just becomes second nature after having done it enough times to know when something is a sufficient condition and when something is a necessary condition. But the indicator words you listed are a good starting point. Whenever you see one of those words followed by whatever, then depending on what indicator word is being used, you'll be able to recognize whether it's a sufficient or necessary condition.

drive4showLSAT4dough

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### Re: Conditionals - do you use indicators or...?

If I wear my bathing suit to work, then I will get fired.

Translation:BS --> F

So you ask yourself: what comes first? The meaning of the sentence is that any time I wear my bathing suit to work, I'm going to get fired. Consider how limited the sentence is. There may be other ways for me to get fired (lie, cheat, steal), but the sentence tell us if BS happens (trigger / sufficient), my firing is an immediate result / necessary consequence.

The contrapositive is: if I DON'T get fired, I know for a fact that I didn't wear my bathing suit into the office.
(Translation: /F --> /BS)

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Daily_Double

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### Re: Conditionals - do you use indicators or...?

ColumbiaBigLaw wrote:
Daily_Double wrote:I just read into the meaning of the relationship. If your looking at a conditional statement, then there must exist a statement sufficient do a certain outcome, and that outcome will always occur if the sufficient condition occurs. The indicators, while helpful, are really just a shortcut to realizing the way the conditionals are working. The more you work through LR, the clearer this appears, so keep working at it.
Ok this is probably a dumb question, but I dont think I understand the relationship between the two that clearly, and that's where my trouble is coming from. Do you know what kind of questions (when reading the statement) I can ask myself to make the relationship clearer?
Yeah sure. So conditional logic most often shows up in the assumption family, specifically N/A, S/A, and Flaw questions, though it also appears in MBT questions often. Since I'm currently reviewing PT 62, I'll pick the first one I see on the page... And so we'll look at PT 62, S2, Q15: S/A.

Core: Smith can't satisfy the sufficient condition of a relationship

Why?

(P1) true meaning can be understood ---> insight into social circumstances of author

Thus if you understand the true meaning then you have insight

(P2) this just qualifies the conclusion, don't worry about it.

So just think here, we have a conditional relationship and the conclusion denies the sufficient condition. Thus the correct answer will deny the necessary condition, because doing so denies the sufficient condition. And just by skimming, we see the correct answer.

objection_your_honor

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### Re: Conditionals - do you use indicators or...?

An easy way to test to see if you've got it right is to ask yourself which term necessarily triggers the next. The sufficient condition cannot be satisfied without also triggering the necessary condition (this itself is a conditional statement: if S, then N). Not so for the necessary condition.

Just keep at it and you'll see these relationships quite clearly in your head as you read, without having to diagram or parse through the text.

The LSAT Trainer

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### Re: Conditionals - do you use indicators or...?

The LSAT is a very tough test of your reasoning ability, and conditional logic is one of the primary issues that they test — you can't expect to be reliant on indicators and also expect to perform at a very high level (if you think of the LSAT as a competition, relying only on indicators puts you at a severe disadvantage relative to other test takers who understand conditional logic intuitively and easily). You really owe it to yourself to understand conditional logic completely and intuitively (and, as most on this forum would attest, once you learn to "see it" from the right angle, it's not as tough as it may first appear). It's okay to use indicators, but only if you understand the underlying reasoning.

I think one of the simplest ways to think about conditional logic is in terms of guarantees -- take the two components, and think about which one guarantees the other --

So, let's imagine that your supermarket puts your favorite cereal on sale every Sunday for 50% off, so you decide that you will only buy cereal on Sundays.

Let's think about the guarantees in this situation --

If it's Sunday, it is a guarantee that you will buy cereal? No, you don't have to buy cereal every Sunday.

If you buy cereal, is it a guarantee that it is Sunday? Yes. You only buy cereal on Sundays.

What are some different ways in which we can say the same thing?

If you buy cereal, it must be Sunday.
You will buy cereal only if it's Sunday.
You won't buy cereal unless it's Sunday.
Any time you buy cereal, it is a Sunday.
etc....

It may not feel totally automatic at first, but if you keep thinking about every conditional situation you run into in terms of guarantees, hopefully soon enough you will start feeling very comfortable reasoning through them -- btw, on my website, there is a free lesson on sufficient assumption & principle questions that has some discussion of conditional reasoning and has drills for you to practice translating conditional terms. The lesson builds upon material that appeared earlier in the book, so it may be a bit challenging to get into at first, but I think you may find it helpful --

Happy studying --

Mike

stray

Posts: 213
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:18 pm

### Re: Conditionals - do you use indicators or...?

The LSAT Trainer wrote:The LSAT is a very tough test of your reasoning ability, and conditional logic is one of the primary issues that they test — you can't expect to be reliant on indicators and also expect to perform at a very high level (if you think of the LSAT as a competition, relying only on indicators puts you at a severe disadvantage relative to other test takers who understand conditional logic intuitively and easily). You really owe it to yourself to understand conditional logic completely and intuitively (and, as most on this forum would attest, once you learn to "see it" from the right angle, it's not as tough as it may first appear). It's okay to use indicators, but only if you understand the underlying reasoning.

I think one of the simplest ways to think about conditional logic is in terms of guarantees -- take the two components, and think about which one guarantees the other --

So, let's imagine that your supermarket puts your favorite cereal on sale every Sunday for 50% off, so you decide that you will only buy cereal on Sundays.

Let's think about the guarantees in this situation --

If it's Sunday, it is a guarantee that you will buy cereal? No, you don't have to buy cereal every Sunday.

If you buy cereal, is it a guarantee that it is Sunday? Yes. You only buy cereal on Sundays.

What are some different ways in which we can say the same thing?

If you buy cereal, it must be Sunday.
You will buy cereal only if it's Sunday.
You won't buy cereal unless it's Sunday.
Any time you buy cereal, it is a Sunday.
etc....

It may not feel totally automatic at first, but if you keep thinking about every conditional situation you run into in terms of guarantees, hopefully soon enough you will start feeling very comfortable reasoning through them -- btw, on my website, there is a free lesson on sufficient assumption & principle questions that has some discussion of conditional reasoning and has drills for you to practice translating conditional terms. The lesson builds upon material that appeared earlier in the book, so it may be a bit challenging to get into at first, but I think you may find it helpful --

Happy studying --

Mike

Thanks for the help guys. Mike (or anyone else), just quickly, can you use your guarantee method on this one:
The budget will be approved only if the amendment is withdrawn and there is a compromise on
education spending.

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CardozoLaw09

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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2010 1:58 pm

### Re: Conditionals - do you use indicators or...?

ColumbiaBigLaw wrote:
The LSAT Trainer wrote:The LSAT is a very tough test of your reasoning ability, and conditional logic is one of the primary issues that they test — you can't expect to be reliant on indicators and also expect to perform at a very high level (if you think of the LSAT as a competition, relying only on indicators puts you at a severe disadvantage relative to other test takers who understand conditional logic intuitively and easily). You really owe it to yourself to understand conditional logic completely and intuitively (and, as most on this forum would attest, once you learn to "see it" from the right angle, it's not as tough as it may first appear). It's okay to use indicators, but only if you understand the underlying reasoning.

I think one of the simplest ways to think about conditional logic is in terms of guarantees -- take the two components, and think about which one guarantees the other --

So, let's imagine that your supermarket puts your favorite cereal on sale every Sunday for 50% off, so you decide that you will only buy cereal on Sundays.

Let's think about the guarantees in this situation --

If it's Sunday, it is a guarantee that you will buy cereal? No, you don't have to buy cereal every Sunday.

If you buy cereal, is it a guarantee that it is Sunday? Yes. You only buy cereal on Sundays.

What are some different ways in which we can say the same thing?

If you buy cereal, it must be Sunday.
You will buy cereal only if it's Sunday.
You won't buy cereal unless it's Sunday.
Any time you buy cereal, it is a Sunday.
etc....

It may not feel totally automatic at first, but if you keep thinking about every conditional situation you run into in terms of guarantees, hopefully soon enough you will start feeling very comfortable reasoning through them -- btw, on my website, there is a free lesson on sufficient assumption & principle questions that has some discussion of conditional reasoning and has drills for you to practice translating conditional terms. The lesson builds upon material that appeared earlier in the book, so it may be a bit challenging to get into at first, but I think you may find it helpful --

Happy studying --

Mike

Thanks for the help guys. Mike (or anyone else), just quickly, can you use your guarantee method on this one:
The budget will be approved only if the amendment is withdrawn and there is a compromise on
education spending.
"only if" so we know what comes after that is a necessary condition and what comes before is the sufficient condition; also, there's an "and" in the necessary condition which means the sufficient condition will trigger both things.

Budget Approved ---> Amendment Withdrawn + Compromise on Education Spending

Intuitively, what this is saying is that if the budget is approved then we can be sure (guarantee) that two things will occur; 1. the amendment will be withdrawn and 2. there will be a compromise on education spending.

objection_your_honor

Posts: 625
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:19 pm

### Re: Conditionals - do you use indicators or...?

ColumbiaBigLaw wrote: The budget will be approved only if the amendment is withdrawn and there is a compromise on
education spending.
So then if the budget is approved, it is guaranteed that the amendment is withdrawn and there is a compromise on education spending.

Edit: what 'dozo said.

Clearly

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### Re: Conditionals - do you use indicators or...?

I use indicators to know I'm looking at a conditional at all, and then read into it to get the correct understanding, relying on no indicators

stray

Posts: 213
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### Re: Conditionals - do you use indicators or...?

All right guys. Thank you! I have a decent idea of it I think, and just going to really make sure to understand each conditional when doing problems, and hopefully in due time it becomes second nature. Everyone's been very helpful, so I really appreciate it. Time to get back to that 170+ grind.

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