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Inference and Deduction

Some questions will test your ability to understand meaning when it's not said directly. Occasionally, a text will suggest, or infer ideas and it's up to you to pick up on this.

You need to look for clues in the text. What type of words are being used? What is the tone of the text?

Read the following blog article:

The Missus decided that 2012 would be the year she stopped buying clothes and I thought I'd try the same approach. 

Sadly, I needed a few rash vests for martial arts training early on in the year, then a suit for a wedding, then some shorts and trousers for a holiday, then I succumbed to a sale and bought a few cheap polo shirts...

The Missus, however, succeeded magnificently and didn't buy a thing. Instead she recycled lots of her old clothes and dug out stuff she hadn't worn for ages. So I'm going to follow suit and do it properly in 2013. I've got loads of clothes that I haven't worn in ages. Some of them are even nice... 

Bizarrely, however, after making this decision I still found myself looking round the sales and even more bizarrely I was quite taken with a pair of trousers from Vivienne Westwood. It was at this point that I realised that I must be going slightly insane because:
i) The trousers were about £120 after being reduced from £220
ii) They were a cross between combat trousers and clown's pants 
iii) They were the sort of trousers the girl from 1980s pop band the Thompson Twins used to wear and looked ridiculous even back then. 

I am now pleased that for the rest of 2013 I shall be removing myself from such ridiculous temptations. Goodbye new clothes...

Now take this quiz:

1. How can we tell that the writer and his partner have been together for some time?
He's writing about her
"The Missus" suggests familiarity
They're doing similar things

2. How do we know that the writer thinks he bought too many clothes in 2012
He reels off a long list, followed by an ellipsis, which suggests he bought more
He went to a wedding
he studies martial arts

3. How does the writer suggest that he doesn't have good fashion sense in the third paragraph?
His "Missus" didn't buy any clothes
He has lots of clothes
He says some of his clothes are "even nice," which suggests that most of his clothes aren't

4. How can we tell that the writer doesn't spend a lot on clothes
He likes Vivienne Westwood
He's slightly insane
He was looking around the sales

5. In the fourth paragraph, how does the writer suggest that the trousers he liked wouldn't suit him?
They are reduced
He states that they didn't even suit an 1980s pop star
They are expensive

Score =
Correct answers:

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Barrie McDermid
Barrie is an English teacher, musician, exam marker, husband and father.

He believes that learning is better when it's fun.