The fact that children's ideas about science form part of a larger framework of ideas mean that it is easier to change them.

(This sentence is Question 4 from Link

I found the similar questions to this. Link

However, I still have difficulties to clearly understand the sentence.

  1. What's the exact meaning of "larger" and "easier"?
  2. Why did he use the comparative forms instead of adjectives such as "large" and "easy"?

  3. Plus, Is "them" "children's ideas"? If so, "it is easier to change them" = "To change children's ideas is easier", right?

1 Answer 1


It could be rather ambiguous statement if you are not an expert in the language and probably that's why it is used in such tests. My attempt:

  1. "larger" and "easier" are used relatively to overall context. Meaning here: larger framework of ideas of science compared to framework of ideas for anything else. Similar "easier" meaning: easier to change this framework of ideas of science than it is to changes ideas of any other type
  2. As stated in point 1, you can't say large or easy because those need some relation or context. Saying it is a big rock means nothing unless you compare it with another rock. What you say big might be tiny for someone else. But it will always be "bigger" or "smaller" compared to something else of same type. Here, "larger" and "easier" are used to compare the ideas of science vs ideas of any other type.
  3. This could definitely be ambiguous, but it will depend on the context of what was written before this sentence. I think it refers to ideas here. Though I haven't read your links, so I could be wrong.
  • exert is a verb. Can we use it as noun? Or mistype of expert?
    – Choe
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 3:52
  • Typo :). Fixed it.
    – V_Singh
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 3:55
  • Thank you. So this sentence is actually ambiguous because the author didn't mention "larger than WHAT", "easier than WHAT", right? Then this usage is to put emphasis comparing something other concepts. Do you agree?
    – Choe
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 3:58
  • 1
    I concur except partly with #3 and its dependency on the article. I didn't read the page either, but I did visit the link. There is a long, scrolling article followed by a series of questions, this one being in the true/false section. So the reader must first evaluate the question and then apply it to the article. // I fully agree with Ting's interpretation, It is easier to change the children's ideas.
    – RichF
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 3:58
  • 1
    @TINGCHOE The framework of ideas is larger than [just] children's ideas about science. Children are also aware of civics, music, dance, their friends, TV, video games, etc. // Easier to change the children's ideas relative to how it would have been if they only know about science.
    – RichF
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 4:03

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