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Quantity Terms: Few and Some

lathlee
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In Past one of prior LSAT Qestions, due to solving a particular assumption Q involve negation of FEW, I asked about how synonyms of word, SOME, and the negation of such quantity work which was inspired by solving this q: PrepTest 1 - June 1991 - LSAT Answers and Explanations - LR ‹ Section 4
, viewtopic.php?f=708&t=8823

I also know Powerscore published an article of How Some, Few , Several Quantity representations (https://www.powerscore.com/lsat/help/ls ... nology.cfm) may not be same (Despite they are all synonyms of word, SOME (1-100%)

But here is the problem begins in my head :

since Powerscore LR bible says they are synonyms..... According to POWERScore, Logical Opposite of FEW is NOT FEW (equivalents of Major). But the Logical opposite of Some(1-100) is NEVER (0%). BUT they are all synonyms for the concept SOME in LSAT LR World. (According to Powerscore LR Bible 2016 and POWERSCORE LR Bible 2018 Version Ch.13 Formal Logic)

So LOGICAL Negation of FEW and SOME should be ..... 0% as in NEVER or NONE
Last edited by lathlee on Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:06 am, edited 2 times in total.
Adam Tyson
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As Dave said in that thread that you linked, lathlee, "some" and "many" are not synonymous. Neither are "some" and "few". While "few" indicates that there are some, the meaning of "some" is much broader and could include many or all, while "few" means "more than one but not many." So the logical opposite of "few" is "not few", and that could mean either none or or many. The way few is usually used (like "few people commute more than 100 miles per day"), the most technically accurate negation would be "not a few people commute more than 100 miles per day." I would advise my students to take the easier route, though, and say "many people commute more than 100 miles per day." That way it is absolutely clear that the original claim is not true, and that is my goal in using the negation technique. Depending on the argument, "no people commute more than 100 miles per day" might actually strengthen the argument, so I stay away from it.

In short, negate "few" with "many". "Few" and "some" are NOT synonyms, even though "few" usually indicates that there are, or could be, some.

One last note, and that is on the difference between "few" and "a few". If I say "few of my friends are doctors", I mean not many, and I might actually mean none. But if I change that statement just slightly and say "a few of my friends are doctors", I cannot possibly mean that none of my friends are doctors. Instead, I mean that some are, but not many. Frustrating that the inclusion of "a" can have that big an impact on meaning, isn't it? I wish English were a simpler, more logical language!
Adam M. Tyson
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