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GMAT Critical Reasoning InferenceYou’re having lunch with your friend Jane, and you suggest getting hot fudge sundaes for dessert; Jane tells you that she doesn’t eat hot fudge sundaes.  In real life, you could draw several valid inferences from this: she’s lactose intolerant, she has sensitive teeth and so can’t eat frozen desserts, she’s on a diet and trying to avoid sweets, or maybe she just doesn’t like ice cream or hot fudge. 

In real life, those would all be acceptable inferences, because the real-world definition of infer is to do any of the following:

1. to derive by reasoning; conclude or judge from premises or evidence: e.g., They inferred his anger from his heated denial.
2. (of facts, circumstances, statements, etc.) to indicate or involve as a conclusion; lead to.
3. to guess; speculate; surmise.
4. to hint; imply; suggest.

“Infer” is, as you can see, a word with fairly flexible meaning.  We most often use it in day-to-day life to mean “make an educated guess.”  If your friend Jane says she doesn’t eat hot fudge sundaes, you apply your existing knowledge about the possible reasons someone could have for...

Categories : Inference

The development of the science of energy is essential to many emerging technologies. We must not, however, neglect to add to our knowledge of the energy of the normal elements found in nature, since the development of energetic materials depends upon this knowledge. If the statements above are true, which of the following can best be inferred from the passage?

A. At this point in time, the study of the theory of energy is more important than the development of the science of energy.

B. Since study of the normal elements found in nature will add to scientific knowledge, there is no need to study the abnormal elements found in nature.

C. The manufacture of energy must take precedence over the development of emerging technologies.

D. Without the further development of our knowledge of energy, the development of the science of energy could be slowed.

E. If funding for the development of energy is not found, there will be no further study of the theory of energy.


The argument correctly links the two points. “Without the further development of our knowledge of...