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  1. Key Member
    Student or Learner
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    We can learn/infer from the paragraph

    The paragraph at the bottom of this webpage is taken from a comprehenion test passage titled with THUMBING A LIFT. One of the problems set is as follows:

    In paragraph3, we learn that the writer _______.
    A. has sometimes failed to hitch a ride
    B. has marched from Aldermaston to London
    C. has always been successful in hitching a ride
    D. has had to wait for long hours for a ride
    The given answer is C.

    I thought C would be what we could infer from this paragraph, rather than what we could learn (directly) from it. Is there a difference between the two words when we're doing comprehension test problems like this?
    Thank you in advance.

    But even with careful preparationyou must not assume that the task will be easyYou should be prepared to wait a littlefor there are drivers who confess to a fierce prejudice againstnot to say hatred ofhitchhikersand would no more pick up a hiker than march from Aldermaston to LondonInAmericamy average wait was half an hourand my longest twohoursbut I have heard of people waiting all daythey presumably took less pains to make themselves conspicuous

  2. JohnParis's Avatar
    Senior Member
    Retired Academic
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      • United States
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      • France

    • Join Date: Oct 2011
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    Re: We can learn/infer from the paragraph

    The Oxford Dictionary defines the two words as follows:

    means to deduce or conclude (information) from evidence and reasoning rather than from explicit statements.

    Learn means to gain or acquire knowledge of, or skill in (something) by study, experience, or being taught.

    None of the questions use language that was explicitly stated in the paragraph. Therefore, you are being asked to infer information.
    If one of the answers had contained the exact words used in the text, the question would be testing you on what you had learned.


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