  # Syllogism Questions

Today I am going to share a systematic method to solve Syllogism questions. Syllogism is an important topic for CAT as well as other competitive exams. There are approximately 3-4 questions based on syllogism, mainly from verbal ability and logical reasoning sections of CAT. Solving and scoring in Syllogism questions is an easy task if we know the basics of syllogism.

So, the question arises, WHAT is a syllogism?

Syllogism is a Greek synonym of the word conclusion or inference. It is an instance of a form of reasoning, in which a conclusion is drawn from a set of given or assumed statements; a common or middle term is present in the statements but not in the conclusion, which is assumed to be true.

For example, All cats are Animals

All animals have four legs.

Conclusion: All cats have four legs.

## Syllogisms in Competitive Exams

Syllogism questions contain two or more statements. These statements are followed by conclusions. We need to find which conclusion logically follows from the statements. Syllogism questions, most of the time appear to be illogical or they might go against the facts, but we must assume those statements to be true. Syllogism questions are based on the fact whether the conclusions are true or not in the context of statements.

For example, All cats are dogs.

All dogs are ice cream.  In the above example, you will notice that the statements vary from commonly known facts.

(The statement – All cats are dogs, is illogical but you need to assume it to be true to select the logical conclusion that follows.)

Conclusion: All cats are ice cream.

We will now interpret the conclusion through the definition of syllogisms. You can notice :

• The predicate of the statement 2 became the predicate of conclusion (the word ice cream)
• The subject of the statement 1 became the subject of conclusion (the word cats) and;
• The common relation between the two (Dogs) is missing from it.

Thus, this conclusion exactly follows the definition of Syllogism.

### Role of Quantifiers in Syllogism Questions

quantifier is a word or phrase which is used before a noun to indicate the amount or quantity.

Some of the commonly known quantifiers are Some, All, A lot of, Few, etc.

Let us discuss briefly the types of quantifiers :

1. Few/Some – It refers to only part of the total number of objects in the given set. It is also called particular qualifier, as only some objects are included.
2. All/Every – It refers to all the parts of the total number of objects in the given set. It is also called universal qualifier, as each object is included.
3. No/None– It refers to all the parts of the total number of objects in the given set. It is also called universal qualifier, as each object is excluded.

### How to solve?

Syllogisms can be solved easily by following these two steps :

• First, you need to draw a Venn diagram according to the statements.
• Check whether the conclusions are satisfying the diagram or not.

In these two easy steps, you can solve syllogism questions.

Let us solve some questions :

Directions: Given two statements, verify the conclusions and mark the answer as given below:
A. Mark (1) if only conclusion 1
follow.
B. Mark (2) if only conclusion 2 follows.
C. Mark (3) if both conclusions 1 & 2 follow.
D. Mark (4) if no conclusion follows.

#### Example 1:

Statement 1 Some A is B

Statement 2 All B is C

Conclusion 1 Some A is C

Conclusion 2 No A is C Solution: From the Venn diagram, we can observe that some part of A is surely C. So, the first conclusion follows here.

Also, since some A is C, the second conclusion of No A is C fails, as there is a relation between A and C which is shown in the diagram.

Since only Conclusion 1 follows, option 1 is correct.

#### Example 2:

Statement 1 All pots are tubes

Statement 2 Some cups are pots

Conclusion 1 Some pots are cups

Conclusion 2 Some tubes are cups Solution: Both Conclusion 1 and 2 follow so option 3 is correct.

#### Example 3 :

Statement 1 Some Rats are Ants.

Statement 2 Some cats are rats.

Conclusion 1 No rat is an ant.

Conclusion 2 No cat is an ant. Solution: Neither of the conclusion follows so option 4 is correct.

#### Example 4:

Statement 1  Some Bags are Books

Statement 2 All Books are Boxes.

Conclusion 1 All Bags are Boxes.

Conclusion 2 No Book is Boxes. Solution: Neither of the conclusion follows so option 4 is correct.

You clearly understand that this topic is not tough. If you solve enough questions and make yourself comfortable with all the types of questions, then you can definitely score on Syllogism questions very easily.

If you need more detailed concepts in other sections, you may find it here.

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