I'm going to suggest an alternate approach from the formal logic diagramming used by my esteemed colleagues here. I'm going to suggest instead that we play with numbers, because that is my preferred method for dealing with "some" and especially "most" in LSAT questions.

I'm going to start with the total amount of mail, and to keep it simple I am going to say that there are 100 pieces of mail, total, in all of world history.

Most of those take 3 days or longer to be delivered. That meas 51 pieces of mail, at a minimum, take that long, because "most" means more than half.

"Nearly all" is harder to quantify, but it has to be more than just 50% plus 1, I think. Let's be a little conservative and say that "nearly all" is 85%. So, 85% of all correctly addressed mail gets there within 2 business days.

From the numbers we have so far, how much mail could have been correctly addressed? Only 49 pieces got there on time in two days, but that has to be at least 85% of all the correctly addressed mail. I whip out my handy calculator (the one in my head), and I determine that 49 is 85% of...let's say 58. (For those of you who don't like math, do it this way - 85% of 100 is 85, so 85% of half that total, or 50, would be half that subtotal, or 42.5. I need to add 6.5 to that number to get up to my 49, so I'll add that plus a little more to 50 to get my guesstimated total of 58. Yes, sometimes we have to do a little math on the LSAT, sorry.).

So, of the 100 total pieces of mail, the most that could have been correctly addressed is 58, which is, conveniently, 58% of the total. It could have been even less than that, if some of the incorrectly addressed mail also got there in two days or less, but I am trying to push things to their limits here in order to test my understanding. In order for nearly all of the correctly addressed mail to get there on time, and yet still have less than half of the mail get there on time, even accounting for the percentage that is correctly addressed but damaged in transit, there's still 42% of the mail that is incorrectly addressed. That's pretty substantial!

Don't like those figures? Try your own! Maybe "nearly all" is just 70%? I don't like that, it feels too low to me, but give that a go anyway and see what you come up with. I think no matter what numbers you use, if you are being honest with yourself about what "nearly all" indicates, you're going to find that a substantial percentage of mail must be incorrectly addressed.

Formal logic diagrams, which bear a striking similarity to conditional diagrams, are great, but they are not the only way to approach these problems. Since the folks at LSAC provide no scratch paper and do not require you to show your work, don't get hung up on exactly how to

I'm going to start with the total amount of mail, and to keep it simple I am going to say that there are 100 pieces of mail, total, in all of world history.

Most of those take 3 days or longer to be delivered. That meas 51 pieces of mail, at a minimum, take that long, because "most" means more than half.

"Nearly all" is harder to quantify, but it has to be more than just 50% plus 1, I think. Let's be a little conservative and say that "nearly all" is 85%. So, 85% of all correctly addressed mail gets there within 2 business days.

From the numbers we have so far, how much mail could have been correctly addressed? Only 49 pieces got there on time in two days, but that has to be at least 85% of all the correctly addressed mail. I whip out my handy calculator (the one in my head), and I determine that 49 is 85% of...let's say 58. (For those of you who don't like math, do it this way - 85% of 100 is 85, so 85% of half that total, or 50, would be half that subtotal, or 42.5. I need to add 6.5 to that number to get up to my 49, so I'll add that plus a little more to 50 to get my guesstimated total of 58. Yes, sometimes we have to do a little math on the LSAT, sorry.).

So, of the 100 total pieces of mail, the most that could have been correctly addressed is 58, which is, conveniently, 58% of the total. It could have been even less than that, if some of the incorrectly addressed mail also got there in two days or less, but I am trying to push things to their limits here in order to test my understanding. In order for nearly all of the correctly addressed mail to get there on time, and yet still have less than half of the mail get there on time, even accounting for the percentage that is correctly addressed but damaged in transit, there's still 42% of the mail that is incorrectly addressed. That's pretty substantial!

Don't like those figures? Try your own! Maybe "nearly all" is just 70%? I don't like that, it feels too low to me, but give that a go anyway and see what you come up with. I think no matter what numbers you use, if you are being honest with yourself about what "nearly all" indicates, you're going to find that a substantial percentage of mail must be incorrectly addressed.

Formal logic diagrams, which bear a striking similarity to conditional diagrams, are great, but they are not the only way to approach these problems. Since the folks at LSAC provide no scratch paper and do not require you to show your work, don't get hung up on exactly how to

*diagram*a question, and focus instead on what method works best for you to*answer*the question. When the diagrams aren't working for you, try another way! Count on it!Adam M. Tyson

PowerScore LSAT, GRE, ACT and SAT Instructor

Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LSATadam

PowerScore LSAT, GRE, ACT and SAT Instructor

Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LSATadam