namitathakker
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Q9 - One should always capitalize

by namitathakker Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:46 pm

Can you explain this question? I don't quite understand the difference between (A) and (B). Thanks so much!
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Re: Q9 - One should always capitalize

by noah Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:42 pm

Sure!

This is an inference question, so we're looking for what's most provable. Let's take a look:

Then stimulus gives us a couple of rules:

Main or first or last --> capitalize
If NOT first or last: articles, prepositions, conjunctions with <5 letters --> NOT capitalize

(B) is inferrable (provable) because it starts with a word in the middle that should be capitalized. What do we know it CANNOT be? It can't be an article, preposition, or conjunction with <5 letters. (B) references that this word we're discussing can't be an article or short conjunction.


(A) may be tempting, but let's figure out why it's NOT provable. It suggests that the only reason a preposition or conjunction should be capitalized is if it's a first or last word. Is there any other possibility? If you're not sure, review the rules above. This word could be a main word of the title.

(C) is suspicious since it starts with "all," but that's not grounds for expulsion - the problem with (C) is that some prepositions and short conjunctions should be capitalized, those that begin a title, for example.

(D) is not provable - we haven't learned about lots of other types of words and how to handle them. What about proper names, for example!

(E) is not provable - we only learned when those words should not be capitalized.

I hope that clears it up!

If you want a challenge, see if you can come up with another answer that could be proven and post it here...
 
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Re: Q9 - One should always capitalize the main words...

by chike_eze Wed May 11, 2011 7:22 am

noah wrote:Then stimulus gives us a couple of rules:

Main or first or last --> capitalize
If NOT first or last: articles, prepositions, conjunctions with <5 letters --> NOT capitalize

(B) is inferrable (provable) because it starts with a word in the middle that should be capitalized. What do we know it CANNOT be? It can't be an article, preposition, or conjunction with <5 letters. (B) references that this word we're discussing can't be an article or short conjunction.
...
If you want a challenge, see if you can come up with another answer that could be proven and post it here...


Let's give this a try...

Main or First or Last --> Capitalize
-Capitalize --> -Main and -First and -Last


From this we can infer than if a word in a title is not capitalized, then that word is not a main word, nor is it a first word or a last word.
> (D) reverses this inference.


Middle Articles = MidArticle
Middle Prepositions<5 letters = MidPrep_L5
Middle Conjunctions < 5 letters = MidConj_L5

MidArticle or MidPrep_L5 or MidConj_L5 --> -Capitalized
Capitalized --> -MidArticle and -MidPrep_L5 and -MidConj_L5


From this we can infer that if a word in a title is capitalized, then that word is not a middle article, and it is neither a middle preposition nor a middle conjunction less than five characters. Similar to correct answer (B)
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Re: Q9 - One should always capitalize the main words...

by noah Wed May 11, 2011 9:36 am

chike_eze wrote:Let's give this a try...

From this we can infer than if a word in a title is not capitalized, then that word is not a main word, nor is it a first word or a last word.
> (D) reverses this inference.


From this we can infer that if a word in a title is capitalized, then that word is not a middle article, and it is neither a middle preposition nor a middle conjunction less than five characters. Similar to correct answer (B)

Bravo!
 
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Re: Q9 - One should always capitalize

by mitrakhanom1 Thu May 07, 2015 10:57 pm

My confusion is when the argument says "when they occur inn the middle of a title" what do I do with it? Am I assuming that they is referring to the articles, prepositions and conjunctions with fewer than five letters? If so, that means they are never capitalized.

So if diagrammed:

when they occur in the middle of a title: articles, or prepositions and conjunctions with fewer than five letters----> never capitalize

contrapositive
capitalize ---> -articles and -prepositions or -conjunctions with fewer than five letters

So shouldn't answer B say that word is neither an article or a conjunction shorter than five letters?
 
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Re: Q9 - One should always capitalize

by christine.defenbaugh Sat May 23, 2015 11:58 pm

Thanks for posting mitrakhanom1!

You are spot on about the word "they" in the phrase "when they occur in the middle of a title"! That "they" refers to articles, and prepositions and conjunctions with fewer than five letters.

To diagram this properly, we should take a moment to reflect on how this rule is working. The rule only applies when we're looking at words in the middle of a title. Also, this 'don't capitalize!' instruction applies to three different types of words: 1) articles, 2) prepositions w/ <5 letters, and 3) conjunctions w/ <5 letters. (Don't get hung up on the word "and" - these are two separate categories that shouldn't be capitalized). So the diagram would be:

When in the middle of a title:
if article OR preposition <5 letters OR conjunction < 5 letters --> no capitalize


The contrapositive would therefore be:

When in the middle of a title:
if capitalize --> not article AND not preposition < 5 letters AND not conjunction < 5 letters


The word "neither" cannot be used with the word "or" - "neither X or Y" would be incorrect grammatically. The phrase "neither X nor Y" translates to mean "no X AND no Y". Keeping this in mind, we can translate (B) to say:

If in the middle of a title:
If capitalize --> not article AND not conjunction < 5 letters


This is directly provable from the contrapositive above!

Remember, while there's a math-like logic being expressed here, we can't translate each word into a mathematical equation directly. To diagram the conditional relationships, we must consider the meaning of the sentence - specifically, we must consider what is being guaranteed, and what situations are triggering that guarantee. Certain common phrases can be memorized with automatic translations (such as "only if" = "then", or "unless" = "if not"). But when a conditional sentence breaks out of these known phrasing patterns, we must proceed with an eye to the overall meaning!

Please let me know if this helps to clear a few things up!
 
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Re: Q9 - One should always capitalize

by roflcoptersoisoi Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:49 pm

Stimulus:
Main/First/ Last word of title --> Capitalize
If article/preposition/conjunction w/ > 5 letters in middle of title --> ~ capitalize
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Only valid inferences:
~Capitalize --> ~ main/last/ first word of title
Capitalize ----> ~ article/preposition/conjunction w/ >5 letters in middle of title.
If article/preposition/conjunction w/ > 5 letters in middle of title --> ~ main/last/first word of title





(A) We're told nothing of what occur under what circumstances prepositions or conjunctions should be capitalized, only the circumstances under which they cannot be, eliminate.
(B) Bingo. This is just the contrapositive of the second sentence sentence: capitalize --> ~ article/ conjunction that is less than 5 letters that occurs in the middle
(C) Close, but no cigar, we're told that such words should be uncapitalized if they are in the middle of the title, this goes beyond what we're told in the stimulus.
(D) Tempting but no. We're told what happens if a word is the main word, or the first or the last then it should be capitalized, we know nothing about what happens if a word does not have any of these qualities, this is essential a mistaken reversal of the first sentence, an invalid inference.
(E) Nope. We're told nothing about the circumstances under which prepositions and conjunctions with more than five letters should be capitalized.
 
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Re: Q9 - One should always capitalize

by Emmeline Ndongue Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:51 am

I really want to raise an important concern for this question (hope somebody might give some suggestion). I was able to finish this one correctly during PT , remembering it took me for a while. I did it while reviewing and timed it: 2mins 21secs.

I don't think this is a hard question at all, and while I'm doing it, I started from A to E. I found that A is incorrect and go to B, I didn't find a reason to cross B out, but I went on to eliminate C to E (I wasn't so sure B is totally correct during timed PTS), and it turned out to be a total waste of time, in hindsight. I struggled to finished 20 questions on LG during timed PTs (non-native speaker), so what should I do next time?

Should I go to the next question right after finding my answer? what is a way to improve on this specific question?
 
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Re: Q9 - One should always capitalize

by obobob Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:50 pm

christine.defenbaugh wrote:To diagram this properly, we should take a moment to reflect on how this rule is working. ...

Remember, while there's a math-like logic being expressed here, we can't translate each word into a mathematical equation directly. To diagram the conditional relationships, we must consider the meaning of the sentence - specifically, we must consider what is being guaranteed, and what situations are triggering that guarantee. Certain common phrases can be memorized with automatic translations (such as "only if" = "then", or "unless" = "if not"). But when a conditional sentence breaks out of these known phrasing patterns, we must proceed with an eye to the overall meaning!



I think this part is important and necessary to really understand this question and the wrong answer choice (A).

I originally diagrammed conditional statements as something like:
1. Main words --> C
2. First word --> C
3. Last word -->C
4. Middle --> Prep. <5 letters OR Conj. <5 letters --> No C

And I basically diagrammed the statement said in the answer choice (A) as:
C prep./conj. --> first word
OR
C prep./conj, ---> last word

Since the answer choice specifically discusses prepositions and conjunctions, I thought only the 4th rule (the fourth conditional statement that I mentioned earlier) is relevant-- (A) seemed like the contrapositive form of the second and the third part of the fourth rule.

Besides the fact that (A) fails to cover the fewer than 5 letters thing and it being the wrong contrapositive form (missing an article part etc,), I think there is more thing to understand from this answer choice.

So, even if (A) said something like:

If a word that is a preposition/conjunction [with fewer than five letters] should be capitalized, it is the first or last word of the title.

It still wouldn't make a correct answer since there is another possibility that a conjunction or preposition word with fewer than five letters is the main word in the title. In other words, we can't conclude that it must be the case that the proposition or conjunction word is the first or last word of the title if it is capitalized-- it could be a preposition or conjunction word that is in the middle of the title and is the main word.

I totally missed the fact that we should also be aware that there can be cases when there are combinations of both conditional rules and statements (established rules) provided. In such cases, it will be important to first understand the "guarantee[d] rules," as @christine.defenbaugh puts, and then apply any other conditional rules together when analyzing answer choices in inference Qs (or MBT Qs).

If anyone finds I am misunderstanding anything or would like to add any other comments or thoughts please feel free to add comments below. I also feel a bit iffy about my hypothetical revision of (A): "if a word that is a preposition/conjunction [with fewer than five letters] should be capitalized, it is the first or last word of the title." It will be much appreciated if anyone could confirm or deny if my understanding is based on the correct conditional form there.
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Re: Q9 - One should always capitalize

by ohthatpatrick Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:54 pm

I think your sense of what the conditional logic allows for is correct.

I think, however, that by definition (in real life) "prepositions / articles / conjunctions" are NOT main words.

LSAT isn't going to test that outside knowledge of grammar, but that's the whole distinction between a "main word" and a "functional word", such as articles/prepositions/conjunctions.

So if you accepted that main word ≠ articles / preposition / conjunction,
then your rewrite would actually be a valid idea.