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Flights across Continent X have always been quite expensive. Now, due to a rise in the price of oil, and, subsequently, the price of fuel, flights across Continent X are expected to become even more expensive. Fortunately for budget travellers, the growing competition in the market of intra-continental flights may prevent prices from rising dramatically.
In the above argument, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?
The first boldface portion is a piece of evidence presenting a certain given circumstance. The second boldface portion is the author's conclusion which is a prediction about how the story will end: the prices will probably not rise that much. It is based mostly on data in the same sentence.
The first portion in boldface does not describe a relationship of cause and effect; it describes a static condition. Such a relationship is described in the second sentence of the argument, which is not in boldface type:
Cause: a rise in the price of oil, and, subsequently, the price of fuel.
Effect: flights across Continent X are expected to become even more expensive.
You can immediately eliminate answer choices that incorrectly define the first boldface part; do not waste time reading the rest.
This answer choice can be eliminated on the basis of two inaccuracies.
Firstly, while the first boldface type portion is indeed a fact (i.e. a premise), it does not - directly or indirectly - support the author's final prediction (conclusion).
Secondly, the second portion in boldface is not irrelevant to the author's prediction. In fact, it is the evidence to back up the prediction and the prediction itself.
While this answer choice defines the first boldface part correctly, it defines the second incorrectly. The secondboldface portion ends with a conclusion - the author's prediction that prices will not rise dramatically.