Student Material

Chapter 1: Introducing arguments

Students’ material: solutions


1 b; 2 a; 3 c; 4 c; 5 b; 6 b; 7 a; 8 c (hint: (a) might appear to be an argument, but it’s just a pair of statements, no conclusion is argued for); 9 c; 10 b


(Conclusion is in bold)
1 Manhattan is west of London and London is west of Berlin, so Manhattan is west of Berlin.
2 On the basis of the fact that it includes scenes depicting extreme violence, the film should not be shown on prime-time television.
3 Everyone in the audience is bored. No one who is bored is listening. There can’t be anyone in the audience who is listening.
4 Something must be done to cut knife crime. If we don’t act now to stop the senseless violence of knife crime, our streets will become a no-go zone.
5 Christians take care of the needy. This Prime Minister’s social and economic policies discriminate against the needy. She cannot be a Christian.
6 A country in which kids go to school hungry has an underclass. Some British kids go to school without breakfast. So Great Britain has an underclass.
7 If it’s Wednesday, there must be buttered scones for tea. It is Wednesday. There are buttered scones for tea.
8 Daisy is a cow. All cows are mammals, so Daisy is a mammal.
9 There’s so much pornography readily available on the net these days and young people are so easily influenced, it’s bound to result in an imminent collapse into an orgy of rape, abuse and indecency.
10 If you’re going to Alison’s party tonight, you shouldn’t drink too much. Whenever you drink too much you embarrass yourself.


Key: E = explanation A = argument
1 E; 2 A; 3 E; 4 E; 5 A; 6 E; 7 A; 8 E; 9 E; 10 A


Key: intermediate conclusions in green, conclusion in red

  1. Geoff is a goldfish and no goldfish are mammals hence Geoff is not a mammal. All mammals are warm-blooded so Geoff is not warm-blooded.
  2. If we take my car to class we’ll be on time, but if we take the bus we’ll be late for class. If we’re late for class, we’ll miss the test, so we should take my car to class. But my car is very low on gas, so if we take my car we will probably run out of gas. If we run out of gas we will be late for class. If we take your car, we will get to class on time. If we get to class on time, we won’t miss the test. We should take your car.
  3. Lady Scarlet killed Professor Peacock in the library with the rope. I say this because on the night of Professor Peacock’s death Mrs White observed Lady Scarlet in the library pulling a rope tight around Professor Peacock’s neck. The rope and Professor Peacock’s jacket were later found to bear traces of DNA that are a 99.9 per cent match with Lady Scarlet’s DNA. Furthermore, if Lady Scarlet is the killer, then Colonel Mustard is innocent of Professor Peacock’s murder. If he is innocent, he should be released immediately. Colonel Mustard must be released without delay.
  4. All those who caused the latest financial crash should bear responsibility. Bankers who made bad loans caused the crash so they should be held responsible. But bankers were able to make those loans because governments failed to regulate banking systems properly, so governments must take responsibility as well. And, ultimately, we elected those governments and so we should accept some responsibility for the mess we are in.
  5. Consumer confidence is declining and whenever consumer confidence declines the dollar loses value, so we can expect the dollar to become weaker against international currencies. And, of course, when the dollar is weaker, inflation rises, it’s reasonable to expect that prices will rise. When inflation increases, central banks increase interest rates. We can conclude, then, that interest rates will go up.


1) N/A

P: There's no point looking round town for people with extra arms and legs.
C: Mutants aren't all that common.

3) N/A

P1: The face on the Sphinx at the Giza Plateau does not resemble any portraits of the Egyptian Pharaohs.
P2: The Great Pyramid lacks any true inscriptions.
C: Aliens built the pyramids.

5) N/A

6) N/A

7)  N/A

8) N/A

P: Television occupies the attention of children for hours at a time and gives their parents an opportunity to cook meals and do some work or take a break.
C: Television certainly is not harmful to children.

10) N/A

11) N/A

P: If people live longer then they could have more cheesecake!
C: People should live longer

P: There’s no i in team.
C: If we're going to work together on this, then there's no room for egos.

P1: New England and New York and New Hampshire aren't countries.
P2: New Zealanders don't want to be mistaken for Australians.
C: New Zealand should adopt Aotearoa as its official name.

15) N/A
P1: Maori is one of the official languages of this country.
P2: Under the Treaty of Waitangi, signed between the Maori and the British Crown, we have a responsibility not only to protect the indigenous culture of this country but also to promote it.
C: Maori should be compulsory for all school students.

17) N/A

P1: If we miss the bus, then we'll miss the plane.
P2: If we miss the plane, no holiday.
C: We better not miss the bus.

19) N/A

20) N/A

21) N/A

P: A knife is just a humble tool with a thousand household uses.
C: Knives do not kill people; people kill people.

23) N/A

24) N/A

25) N/A

26) N/A


P1: She was traveling faster than the speed of light
P2: There is no law that allows her to travel faster than the speed of light.
C: She was breaking the law

P1: The phone is usually for me.
P2: I should take responsibility for my own phone-mail.
C: I should answer the phone.

P1: I was here long before everybody else.
P2: I paid good money for my ticket.
C: It's not fair.

P1: Aness and Myles are leaving for America.
P2: Aness and Myles need to get rid of stuff.
C: Aness and Myles should have a garage sale.

P1: I am having a bad day today.
P2: I only have bad days on Mondays.
C: Today is Tuesday.

P1: Some of the glass cases in the museum contain chocolate cake.
P2: Anything contained in the glass cases in the museum is on display.
C: Some chocolate cake is on display in the museum.

P1: No pain remedy works better for toothache and lets you 'party-hearty' all night long than Nakamura's Cocaine Tooth Powder.
P2: Nakamura's Cocaine Tooth Powder is now available as a nasal spray.
C: You should buy Nakamura's Cocaine Tooth Powder and try it!

P1: We need your sheets for tablecloths.
C: It's time to get out of bed. 

P1: Setting examinations is sometimes more work than sitting them.
C: You shouldn't feel like you've had a rotten time just because you've had to sit lots of exams.

P1: We're all friends here.
C: Say whatever you have to say and don't worry about upsetting any of us.

P1: Parents are not always the best judges of what's best for their kids.
P2: Some parents don't put a lot of effort into looking at the advantages and disadvantages of different schools.
C: You shouldn't assume that it's ok for parents to determine which school their kids will go to.

P1: There was a frost this morning.
P2:  It's always a nice day after there's been a frost.
C: It's going to be a nice day.

P1: Every single entry is a winner.
P2: You've gotta be in to win.
C: You should hurry along to the ticket office.

P1: The non-executive directors of the company have had no salary increase since 1995.
P2: Higher salaries are needed to attract people of the right calibre.
C: The salaries of non-executive directors of the company should be raised from $28,000 to $45,000 per year.

P1: If you keep staring into the teapot, then you might find out something about your future that will upset you.
C: You shouldn't keep starting into the teapot.

P1: Make sure that you purchase lots of alcohol while I'm singing.
C: The more you drink, the better I sound.

P1: Everybody dies eventually.
C: If you annoy my brother-in-law, you will end up dead.

P1: In this time of deep economic hardship you could lose your job.
P2: If you have chickens and you lose your job, at least you’ll still have chickens.
C: You should keep chickens at home.

P1: You have nothing to lose but your hang-ups.
C: You should stop being so prissy about your food and sink your teeth into a nice juicy steak.

P1: I can't find how to scroll down to the next page.
C: I shouldn't bother trying to use Macintosh computers.

P1: Recycling is very important.
C: You should sort your rubbish.

P1: We are in the middle of a recession.
P2: We have not managed to demonstrate reliable growth in the past.
P3: We don't seem to have a bank account.
C: This is not the right time for a share float.

P1: The Americans call the shots.
P2: The Americans insist that the prisoner will not be released until he has been tried.
C: The prisoner is not likely to be released in the near future.

P1: The Americans call the shots.
P2: The Americans insist that the prisoner will not be released until he has been tried.
C: The prisoner is not likely to be released in the near future.

P1: The bell has sounded.
C: School is out.

P1: There's a sign that says: "Welcome to the city of pain.  Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."
C: We must have reached our final destination.



1. Oxygen is necessary, but not sufficient for human life

2. eating is necessary, but not sufficient for making me less hungry.

3. Eating my favorite kind of meal is sufficient, but not necessary for making me less hungry.

4. being one of the letters a, e, i, o and u is both necessary and sufficient for being an English letter that is always a vowel.

5. Having music in it is necessary, but not sufficient if an event is to be the performance of an opera.

6. being married is neither necessary nor sufficient for having children.

7. If you believe something, this is neither necessary nor sufficient for it being true.

8. being made from tin is sufficient, but not necessary for being made of metal.

9. Being a triangle is both necessary and sufficient for being a 3-sided plane figure.

10. being in a room with four walls, a roof and a floor is sufficient, but not necessary for being inside.

11. having a job is necessary, but not sufficient for being on a high salary.

12. Being on a high salary is sufficient, but not necessary for having a job.

13. Being 3 years old is sufficient, but not necessary for being a child.

14. Being a child is neither necessary nor sufficient for being 3 years old


1) Being a male parent
2) Being the sister of a parent
3) Being the offspring of a sibling of a parent
4) Being in a position during a game of chess such that your king can be captured on your opponent’s next move.
5) Being in a position during a game of chess such that there is no available move which results in the king no longer being in check.
6) Being married to somebody (alternatively, being either a husband or a wife)
7) Being a natural number greater than 1 which is not divisible by any natural number other than itself and 1.
8) The necessary and sufficient conditions of being a mammal is quite a technical issue. One correct answer may be: belonging to the class of vertebrate animals characterised by having sweat glands, hair, three middle ear bones used in hearing and a neocortex region in the brain and mammary glands in females. Contrary to popular opinion, there are mammals that do not give birth to live young, for example the platypus.
9) Being a adult male chicken
10) Communicating something that you know, believe or take to be false.
11) Being a castrated bull.


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