Salesperson: If your vacuuming needs are limited to cleaning small areas of uncarpeted floors, an inexpensive handhel...

Irene-Vera on July 1, 2019


Why is A correct and why are all other options incorrect.

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Ravi on July 1, 2019


Happy to help. We're looking to add an assumption that would help
strongly support the conclusion of the salesperson's argument.

In looking at the stimulus, the salesperson's conclusion is that an
inexpensive handheld vacuum cleaner is likely to be sufficient if your
vacuuming needs are limited to cleaning small areas of uncarpeted
floors. His support is that most of these vacuums are easy to use and
can satisfy all of your needs on wood or tile floors.

There's a problem, though. The conclusion is about uncarpeted floors.
Who's to say that wood and tile floors are the only types of
uncarpeted floors? What about marble floors? In order to strengthen
his argument, we need to plug in this hole, either by stating that the
vacuums work just as well with other types of uncarpeted floors or
that wood and tile are the only other types of floors other than

(A) says, "The only types of floor surfaces that most consumers
encounter are carpet, wood, and tile."

(A) would help the argument a lot. We know the vacuums are great for
wood and tile, and the conclusion is about uncarpeted floors. If these
are the only types of floors most consumers encounter, then the
salesperson's argument is made stronger, so (A) is the correct answer

(B) says, "Inexpensive handheld vacuum cleaners are sufficient for
cleaning small areas of carpeted floors."

The argument's conclusion is strictly about uncarpeted floors, so new
information about how the vacuum works on carpeted floors doesn't
matter to us, so (B) is out.

(C) says, "Any handheld vacuum cleaner that is easy to use but
sufficient only for cleaning small areas of uncarpeted floors is
likely to be inexpensive."

The argument is not attempting to prove that the vacuum cleaner is
going to be cheap, nor is it attempting to use the cheapness of the
vacuum cleaner to establish its conclusion. What we are trying to do
is provide as much support as possible for the assertion that the
vacuum cleaner will be sufficient for one's needs. Mentioning that the
vacuum cleaner is cheap doesn't help prove that it's effective in
cleaning, so (C) is out.

(D) says, "If your household cleaning needs include cleaning small
areas of uncarpeted floors, it is likely that you will need a vacuum

The problem with (D) is that the author isn't attempting to prove that
people need a vacuum cleaner; rather, the author is trying to support
the assertion that if someone's vacuum needs are limited to a certain
type, then a handheld vacuum cleaner is all that is needed. Saying
that most people will need some sort of vacuum doesn't help the
salesperson support that a handheld vacuum is an effective cleaner for
certain needs, so (D) is out.

(E) says, "The more versatile a vacuum cleaner is, the more likely it
is to be expensive."

The versatility of a vacuum doesn't matter for this argument, so (E)
doesn't help strengthen the salesperson's argument. Thus, we can get
rid of it.

Does this help? Let us know if you have any more questions!

Irene-Vera on July 9, 2019

It does! Thank you!