English as a language is pretty diverse and has a great variety of words. Every other day you may come across words that are not in your vocabulary and they leave you baffled. The inference is one such word, not many folks are aware of its meaning. The meaning of inference though is very simple. It usually is used to refer to an opinion or conclusion that is formed on the basis of evidence and known facts. For different contexts, there are different types of inferences in this world. Let’s learn about all these types as well as inferences examples in this article.
1. What are the Three Types of Inferences?
It is said that you are making an inference when use your knowledge of the things you know to come to a conclusion or form an opinion about something you don’t know. For example, if you try to say hello to a child and the child runs away from you, you infer that the child is scared. Therefore, the inferences examples are important for you to have your own judgments and draw conclusions. Check out what is an inference for kids.
There are three main types of inferences and they are as follows-
A. Deductive Inferences:
These are the type of inference derived through deduction reasoning. They focus on the structure of arguments and thus can guarantee truth. Let’s take an example-Either you go to the housewarming tonight, or you can go to the party tomorrow.
- You cannot go to the housewarming tonight.
- So, you can go to the party tomorrow.
This is a good argument and you know it is good without even thinking too much. The argument uses or and that means at least one of the two arguments is correct. If you know which of the two statements is false then you will find out the true one too. No matter what the statements are, this is how inferences work.
B. Inductive Inferences:
In this inference, people reason inductively. They gather evidence using their own experience of the world. They use their experiences to conclude. In inductive inference, you use your general beliefs to create beliefs about their particular experiences and about what to expect in the future.
Someone can use their experience of celery and extremely hating it to conclude that they don’t like celery of any kind, cooked in any manner. They can use this to conclude that they should avoid ordering celery juice in a shop because they have reasons to believe that they will hate it. This method though can never guarantee the truth of your beliefs as it generates only probable true conclusions.
C. Abductive Inferences:
It is different from the previous two inferences. It is though somewhat similar to inductive reasoning as it is also probabilistic. However, in abductive inference, the conclusion is justified by the evidence in the premises. The conclusion of such inference explains the evidence offered in the premises. Basically here incomplete hints are taken and the most logical and likeliest conclusion is made. For example, the fridge is open and your ice cream is gone. Somebody must have stolen it. (See What are the Types and Examples of Text to Text Connections?)
2. What is Inference in Reading?Photo by Min An on Pexels
After understanding the types of inferences, let’s learn about inference in reading. When you are making guesses about what you don’t know on the basis of the available information then you are reading between the lines and that is inference in reading. In such an inference you use the given textual information and the prior knowledge you have to make critical judgments, draw conclusions, and form interpretations of the text. These inferences occur in the form of new ideas, predictions, and conclusions. Must See 10 Scientific Benefits of Reading Books.
Let’s understand this with inferences examples:
- You came back from school but don’t find your class notebook in the bag. You know that you were reading it during the last class, so you make an assumption that you left it in the class. This is an inference. You don’t know for sure where you left it.
- You are lying in your bed, enjoying social media. Your mother came to check on you assuming you are still awake scrolling your phone.
3. What is Inference in Writing?Photo by lil artsy on Pexels
To reach a conclusion based on evidence and reasoning is inference. You can also use the inferences examples in your writing as it makes your writing more engaging and creative. For example, write a paragraph describing something you have prior knowledge of a mango. Explain it without explicitly stating what it is. Ask your friend to figure out from the para what it is. If they can figure it out then they are making an inference. (See What are Filler Words in Writing?)
4. What is Simple Inference?
A simple inference defines the way you make conclusions about something unknown on the basis of available knowledge, your own beliefs, and knowledge. For example, if you know from a previous incident that you hate eating mango then you will refrain from ordering a mango milkshake in a restaurant. You make an inference here that you will hate mango milkshakes because you hate mango. Now, let’s go through the inferences examples in the following para. (See How is Understanding Abstract Ideas done?)
5. What are Inferences Examples?
An inference is a conclusion you draw about something unknown on the basis of your own knowledge and available evidence. People make inferences all the time. These are some inferences examples:
- Jacob has been at the gym a lot; he must be trying to lose weight.
- Lily is a cat and all cats love fish. So she must love fish too.
- I don’t see Harry. He said he was exhausted, so he must have gone home early.
6. What is an Example of an Inference Question?
After learning about inferences examples let’s look at an example of an inference question. An inference question is a question that asks about the meaning of a paragraph, line, or even an entire passage. In the given text, the ideas being asked are not directly stated. They often require bigger-picture skills.
For example, suppose you are given a paragraph about people and their acceptance of scientific data. And the inference question of this para asks you- what could be interpreted about good science? Select from the given topics. Here you will choose the answer based on the text you read and your own knowledge. (See What is a Scientific Question Example?)
7. What is the Inference of a Story?Photo by Victor on Pexels
Just like the example of an inference question, here you will be reading a story and accordingly make use of the inferences examples. In this process, you draw judgments and conclusions about the text based on what you read in the text, evidence, reasoning, and your own knowledge. Sometimes to understand the main idea of a story you need to infer it. If the main idea is not clearly stated that inference becomes very important. Suppose you are reading a satirical story.
A satire is humorous and often exaggerates things to make its points. In such a case the effectiveness of the story depends on how well the reader infers it. (Learn Summary of Sleeping Beauty Story Book)
8. How do you Make Inferences?
To make an inference you will have to guess about something you don’t know with the help of your experiences and the evidence given in the text. It involves acquiring what you don’t know with the help of something you know. (See How do You tell Ancestry by Physical Features?)
9. What are the Steps to Making an Inference?
As you know to make an inference you will have to use your experience and available evidence to guess about something you don’t know. These are the steps to make an inferences examples:
Step 1: Identify inference questions
First of all start by determining whether you are actually being asked to make an inference on a reading test or not. The most obvious inference questions will definitely have words like suggest, infer, or imply. For example:
- The author seems to imply…
- Based on the passage, it could be inferred or concluded that…
Some questions, however, don’t right away ask you to infer. You will have to find out about such inference questions. For example, With which of the following statements would the author most probably or likely agree?
Step 2: Trust the passage
Now that you have an inference question with you and you know what an inference is, you will have to trust the passage. You need to let go of your prior knowledge and prejudices. The passage will prove if the inference you selected is a correct one as it offers the truth.
Step 3: Hunt for clues
In the third step, you hunt for clues like dialogue, descriptions, characters’ actions, vocabulary, supporting details, and more to verify one of the inferences listed below the question.
Step 4: Narrow down the choices
This is the last step in making a correct inference. You need to narrow down the given answer choices. Use clues from the passage and infer the right choice. Analyze how the other choices are incorrect. For example, if from a given para you derived that a character’s life was sad after marriage, then infer the same about her marriage and prove that the answer quoting the character’s marriage life as blissful is incorrect. Must see What is a Text Structure Definition?
10. How do You Answer an Inference Question?
You can answer an inference question by following these steps: –
- Re-assess the question: Based on the argument and statements there can only be a finite number of statements that can be true. The strongest supported answer should be the correct answer.
- Don’t be fooled by half-right answers: More than one choice can seem related to the statements or arguments or supported by the passage. But keep in mind that only one choice will be most logical or supported. Don’t go with half-right answers from the start.
- Examine scope: Focus on the statements or arguments. Find what could be true and shares the same scope as the initial passage.
- Eliminate extreme language: Answer choices with words like always, never, none, etc should raise a red flag whereas the answers with could are often qualifiers. Make sure that the tone of the paragraph and answer choice are synonymous.
- Ignore the assumptions: Don’t focus on underlying assumptions rather focus on understanding the basic premise. You need to understand the conclusions that could be drawn from it.