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TOEFL® Reading Question Type - Inference Question

Madison Oster July 9th, 2018

In today’s post, we will discuss an "Inference" question. In an "Inference" question, you will see the question phrased something like the following:

  1. In paragraph 5, what does the author imply about ….?
  2. What can be inferred from paragraph 5?
In this type of question, the answer is not directly stated in the reading passage. It requires you to draw conclusions based on information that is given in the passage. You need to find out the correct conclusion from the choices.

Let’s see an example of an inference question.smiley

By the 1600s, the Eurasian beaver was almost extinct in France and England creating an economic shortage of fur. Due to this shortage many fur traders looked to the New World for pelts to supplement their supply. As the Europeans visited the New World more frequently and some of them started settling in Northern America, Indians began to establish regular trade relations with the new colonists. With the development of regular trade, the ideal location for fur trading became harbors so ships could come in.

Question: What can be inferred from paragraph 4?

  1. The trade economy was very dependent on furs in multiple countries.
  2. Fashion drove the need for more furs.
  3. The Europeans had no regard for the native people.
  4. The Europeans had no regard for wildlife.


A is the correct answer. Since an economic shortage was created by the limited population of the Eurasion beaver in Europe, it is reasonable to assume that more than one country depended on fur trade as part of their economy.  B is not correct because furs had a practical use.C is not correct because there could not be trade if they did not pay attention to the natives. D is not correct because all parts of the animal hunted are used.


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