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Premise Indicators

Earlier we saw that writers use certain words to flag conclusions; likewise writers use certain words to flag premises. Following is a partial list of the most common premise indicators:

Premise Indicators

because

for

since

is evidence that

if

in that

as

owing to

suppose

inasmuch as

assume

may be derived from

 

Premise indicators are very helpful. As with conclusion indicators, though, you must use them cautiously because they have other functions. For example, since can indicate a premise, or it can merely indicate time.
 
Example

Since the incumbent's views are out of step with public opinion, he probably will not be reelected.

 
Here "since" is used to flag the premise that the incumbent's positions are unpopular. Contrast this use of "since" with the following example.
 

 

Example

Since the incumbent was elected to office, he has spent less and less time with his family.

 
In this case, "since" merely expresses a temporal relationship. The statement as a whole expresses an observation, rather than an argument.
 





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