An Explanation of Deductive 演绎逻辑 and Inductive Logic 归纳逻辑

For people doing academic research, we’ve tried to explain two forms of logic with frequently used academic words.

Deductive logic begins with having a big idea in mind. A person envisions a concept or abstraction without concrete or specific form. About their idea, the person thinks, “I wonder if this idea is true. Let me do an experiment, collect some specific, concrete data, and see if what happens fits with my idea.” This is an example of using deductive logic. The person makes observations, draws conclusions, then decides whether or not the data supports the original idea/hypothesis.

演绎逻辑 yǎnyì luójí deductive logic
Literal translation by keyword: perform deduce logic

Inductive logic begins with noticing some small details. The person thinks, “I wonder what explains why those small things are as they are. Do they belong to a larger whole? Let me design some experiments in which I observe these specific, concrete details in many contexts. Maybe, as a result of many observations, I can draw conclusions about the bigger picture. I may be wrong but at least I will be making an informed, educated guess.” This approach would be considered an example of inductive logic.

归纳逻辑 guīnà luójí inductive logic
Literal translation by keyword: return na (sound) logic.

As part of our Academic Words project, we have been making Academic Words quizzes. Here’s a quiz related to 演绎逻辑 yǎnyì luójí deductive logic and 归纳逻辑 guīnà luójí inductive logic.

#14

Please match the academic word with its correct definition. To assist with studying, please copy and paste the questions, then add your answers to create single lines.

Example answer:

1. abstract 抽象 chōuxiàng b. an idea or theory without concrete form

1. the use of inductive logic 归纳逻辑 guīnà luójí
2. the use of deductive logic 演绎逻辑 yǎnyì luójí
3. example of inductive logic
4. example of deductive logic

a. Scientists and philosophers use this type of logic because they first make specific observations then infer general principles that might explain what they observe. These conclusions, however, may be incorrect.
b. The scientific method uses this type of logic because it tests hypotheses. If the hypothesis is correct, it would predict specific outcomes.
c. I see frogs in this place. Therefore, this must be a good place for frogs to live.
d. In this place, all the frogs are green. King Frog is in this place. Therefore King Frog is green.

King Frog

Answers: 1a, 2b, 3c, 4d

Here are more Academic Words quizzes.

This post was written by Anne Giles. She consulted with Tian Gan, for her expertise in Mandarin Chinese and English.

Examples of Verb Tenses in Academic English Using 井底之蛙

As part of our Academic Words project to help people in academia learn Mandarin Chinese, we used a common idiom and plain language to demonstrate verb tenses frequently used in English.

井底之蛙 jǐngdǐzhīwā, translated by character and keyword as “well end of frog,” fully translated as “frog at the bottom of a well,” is a 成语 chéngyǔ, or idiom, meaning “having a narrow view” or “having tunnel vision.” Here is Purple Culture’s explanation with example sentences.

Frog in a well 井底之蛙

Tenses locate an event in time. The “event” may be an observed physical phenomenon. It may also be an internal experience, perhaps a thought, a memory, or a physical sensation.

Walden University has created a list of the most common verb tenses in English used in academic writing.

Simple present

The frog looks at the well. He believes bugs are in the well.
青蛙看着井。 他相信虫子在井里。
Qīngwā kànzhe jǐng. Tā xiāngxìn chóngzi zài jǐng lǐ.

Simple past

The frog looked behind him for other frogs. He wanted to share some bugs.
青蛙在他身后寻找其他青蛙。他想分享这些虫子。
Qīngwā zài tā shēnhòu xúnzhǎo qítā qīngwā. Tā xiǎng fēnxiǎng zhèxiē chóngzi.

Present perfect

He and other frogs have shared bugs before.
他和其他青蛙以前分享过虫子。
Tā hé qítā qīngwā yǐqián fēnxiǎngguò chóngzi.

Future

The frog thinks, “I will jump into the well to find the bugs!”
青蛙想:“我要跳到井里去找虫子!”
Qīngwā xiǎng:“Wǒ yào tiào dào jǐng lǐ qù zhǎo chóngzi!”

For the next examples, we follow and quote Shane Bryson’s Common Uses of Tenses in Academic Writing. For the sake of the story, we have rearranged the order.

“Present simple: used for facts, generalizations, and truths that are not affected by the passage of time.”

The frog looks at the well. He believes bugs are in the well.
青蛙看着井。 他相信虫子在井里。
Qīngwā kànzhe jǐng. Tā xiāngxìn chóngzi zài jǐng lǐ.

“Past simple: used for events completed in the past.”

The frog looked behind him for other frogs. He wanted to eat bugs and he also wanted to share bugs with other frogs.
青蛙在他身后寻找其他青蛙。他想吃虫子,也想和其他青蛙分享虫子。
Qīngwā zài tā shēnhòu xúnzhǎo qítā qīngwā. Tā xiǎng chī chóngzi, yě xiǎng hé qítā qīngwā fēnxiǎng chóngzi.

The story continues (not an example of the above):

Because he had only these two ideas and priorities, he was a “a frog at the bottom of a well” and had “tunnel vision.”
青蛙在他身后寻找其他青蛙。他想吃虫子,也想和其他青蛙分享虫子。因为他只有这两个想法和优先事项,所以他是井底之蛙、有“局限的视野。”
Yīnwèi tā zhǐyǒu zhè liǎng gè xiǎngfǎ hé yōuxiān shìxiàng, suǒyǐ tā shì jǐngdǐzhīwā, yǒu “Júxiàn de shìyě.”

“Future simple: used for events to be completed in the future.”

The frog will jump into the well to find bugs.
青蛙会跳进井里寻找虫子。
Qīngwā huì tiào jìn jǐng lǐ xúnzhǎo chóngzi.

“Present perfect: used to describe events that began in the past and are expected to continue, or to emphasize the relevance of past events to the present moment.”

The frog has jumped into wells before.
青蛙以前跳过井。
Qīngwā yǐqián tiàoguò jǐng.

“Past perfect: used to describe events that happened prior to other events in the past.”

The frog had jumped into other wells and found many bugs.
青蛙跳进了其他井里,发现了很多虫子。
Qīngwā tiào jìnle qítā jǐng lǐ, fāxiànle hěnduō chóngzi.

“Future perfect: used to describe events that will be completed between now and a specific point in the future.”

The frog hopes he will have eaten and shared many bugs by the end of the day.
青蛙希望他能在一天结束时吃掉并分享很多虫子。
Qīngwā xīwàng tā néng zài yītiān jiéshù shí chī diào bìng fēnxiǎng hěnduō chóngzi.

“Present continuous: used to describe currently ongoing (usually temporary) actions.”

The frog is thinking about sharing the bugs with other frogs.
青蛙正在考虑和其他青蛙分享虫子。
Qīngwā zhèngzài kǎolǜ hé qítā qīngwā fēnxiǎng chóngzi.

“Future perfect continuous: used to describe events that will continue up until a point in the future, emphasizing their expected duration.”

The frog will have been thinking about sharing bugs for a long time when he finally finds other frogs.
当它终于找到其他青蛙时,青蛙会考虑分享虫子这件事很长时间。
Dāng tā zhōngyú zhǎodào qítā qīngwā shí, qīngwā huì kǎolǜ fēnxiǎng chóngzi zhè jiàn shì hěn cháng shíjiān.

“Present perfect continuous: used to describe events that started in the past and continue into the present or were recently completed, emphasizing their relevance to the present moment.”

The frog has been thinking about jumping into the well and now needs to get started.
青蛙一直在考虑跳进井里,现在需要开始了。
Qīngwā yīzhí zài kǎolǜ tiào jìn jǐng lǐ, xiànzài xūyào kāishǐle.

“Past continuous: used to describe ongoing past events, often in relation to the occurrence of another event.”

The frog was getting ready to jump into the well when he heard a sound.
青蛙正准备跳进井里,突然听到声音。
Qīngwā zhèng zhǔnbèi tiào jìn jǐng lǐ, tūrán tīng dào shēngyīn.

The story continues (not an example of the above):

Another frog! “I am so glad to meet you!,” the frog said. “How are you? I will get bugs for us!”
又一只青蛙! “很高兴认识你!”青蛙说。 “你好吗?我去给我们找虫子!”
Yòu yī zhǐ qīngwā! “Hěn gāoxìng rènshi nǐ!” Qīngwā shuō. “Nǐ hǎo ma? Wǒ qù gěi wǒmen zhǎo chóngzi!

“Past perfect continuous: used to describe events that began, continued, and ended in the past, emphasizing their relevance to a past moment.”

The frog had been thinking about eating and sharing bugs a long time and needed to jump into the well to get them.
青蛙一直想着吃和分享虫子,需要跳进井里才能得到它们。
Qīngwā yīzhí xiǎngzhe chī hé fēnxiǎng chóngzi, xūyào tiào jìn jǐng lǐ cáinéng dédào tāmen.

The story continues (not an example of the above):

The frog jumped into the well, found bugs, jumped out of the well, and shared them with his friend.
青蛙跳进井里,找到了虫子,从井里跳了出来,并和他的朋友分享。
Qīngwā tiào jìn jǐng lǐ, zhǎodàole chóngzi, cóng jǐng lǐ tiàole chūlái, bìng hé tā de péngyǒu fēnxiǎng.

“Future continuous: used to describe future events that are expected to continue over a period of time.”

The frog will be jumping into a lot of wells, eating a lot of bugs, and sharing a lot of bugs during his lifetime.
青蛙一生会跳很多井,吃很多虫子,分享很多虫子。
Qīngwā yīshēng huì tiào hěnduō jǐng, chī hěnduō chóngzi, fēnxiǎng hěnduō chóngzi.

 . . . .

This post was written by Anne Giles. The idea for the post came from a language exchange partner Anne met through HelloTalk. She consulted with Tian Gan, italki instructor Depeng, and language exchange partners for their expertise in Mandarin Chinese and English.