Critical Reasoning (CR) questions are asked as a part of Reading Comprehension questions in the CAT VARC section. These types of questions are generally challenging in the RCs. If you find these questions a bit tough, make sure you solve more RCs that involve CR based questions. Learn how to answer questions on Critical Reasoning concepts. You can check out these Critical Reasoning questions from the CAT Previous year’s papers. Practice a good number of questions in the CAT Critical Reasoning so that you can answer these questions with ease in the exam. In this post, we will look into some important Critical Reasoning Questions for CAT VARC. These are a good source for practice; If you want to practice these questions, you can download this Important CAT Critical Reasoning Questions PDF below, which is completely Free.
Question 1: Szymanski suggests that the problem of racism in football may be present even today. He begins by verifying an earlier hypothesis that clubs’ wage bills explain 90% of their performance. Thus, if players’ salaries were to be only based on their abilities, clubs that spend more should finish higher. If there is pay discrimination against some group of players — fewer teams bidding for black players thus lowering the salaries for blacks with the same ability as whites — that neat relation may no longer hold. He concludes that certain clubs seem to have achieved much less than what they could have, by not recruiting black players.
Which of the following findings would best support Szymanski conclusions?
a) Certain clubs took advantage of the situation by hiring above-average shares of black players.
b) Clubs hired white players at relatively high wages and did not show proportionately good performance.
c) During the study period, clubs in towns with a history of discrimination against blacks, under-performed relative to their wage bills.
d) Clubs in one region, which had higher proportions of black players, had significantly lower wage bills than their counterparts in another region which had predominantly white players.
1) Answer (B)
It is given that 90 percent of a club’s performance can be explained by wage bills. If a player’s salary is based on only on their abilities then the clubs that paid more amounts must finish higher. This relation will not hold true if there is pay discrimination. The conclusion of the passage is that certain clubs seem to have achieved less than they could have, by not recruiting black players.
Here, the assumption is that certain clubs paid more than many other clubs but did not finish at a position they could have had.
Now, let’s check each option and verify whether it strengthens Szymanski’s conclusions.
Option A is not relevant here because it does not address our assumption in any way. Hence, option A is wrong.
The clubs that the author is talking about could have chosen a few black players, paid the black players lower wages and achieved as much as they did now. So, if it is a fact that clubs hired white players at relatively high wages and did not show proportionately good performance, then we can conclude that these clubs achieved less than they could have had. Hence, option B is correct.
According to option C, the towns have a history of discrimination against blacks. But, the clubs might or might not show the discrimination. Hence, the underperformance of these clubs cannot strengthen Szymanski’s conclusions. Therefore, option C is wrong.
Option D is a fact which can be deduced from the information given in the passage. Hence, it doesn’t strengthen the conclusion.
Therefore, option B is the correct answer.
Question 2: The offer of the government to make iodised salt available at a low price of one rupee per kilo is welcome, especially since the government seems to be so concerned about the ill effects of non-iodised salt. But it is doubtful whether the offer will actually be implemented. Way back in 1994, the government, in an earlier effort, had prepared reports outlining three new and simple but experimental methods for reducing the costs of iodisation to about five paise per kilo. But these reports have remained just those — reports on paper.
Which one of the following, if true, most weakens the author’s contention that it is doubtful whether the offer will be actually implemented?
a) The government proposes to save on costs by using the three methods it has already devised for iodisation.
b) The chain of fair-price distribution outlets now covers all the districts of the state.
c) Many small-scale and joint-sector units have completed trials to use the three iodisation methods for regular production.
d) The government which initiated the earlier effort is in place even today and has more information on the effects of non-iodised salt.
2) Answer (C)
If there is evidence that the earlier proposal had been put into practice and not just remained a proposal on paper, then the contention of the author that the new proposal will also remain a proposal on paper is weakened. This is captured by the statement in option c), which says that many small-scale and joint-sector units have completed trials to use the three iodisation methods for regular production. This weakens the author’s contention.
Question 3: Animals in general are shrewd in proportion as they cultivate society. Elephants and beavers show the greatest signs of this sagacity when they are together in large numbers, but when man invades their communities they lose all their spirit of industry. Among insects, the labours of the bee and the ant have attracted the attention and admiration of naturalists, but all their sagacity seems to be lost upon separation, and a single bee or ant seems destitute of every degree of industry. It becomes the most stupid insect imaginable, and it languishes and soon dies.
Which of the following can be inferred from the above passage?
a) Humankind is responsible for the destruction of the natural habitat of animals and insects.
b) Animals, in general, are unable to function effectively outside their normal social environment.
c) Naturalists have great admiration for bees and ants, despite their lack of industry upon separation.
d) Elephants and beavers are smarter than bees and ants in the presence of human beings.
3) Answer (B)
From the options given, we can eliminate options C and D as they are unsupported by the facts given in the paragraph. Option A is not an inference that can be built from the information given in the paragraph.
The paragraph states that animals, from elephants and beavers down to the bee, lose their spirit and intelligence when they are separated from the communities and their environments are invaded by humans. Hence, option B directly follows from this premise.
When I was little, children were bought two kinds of ice cream, sold from those white wagons with canopies made of silvery metal: either the two-cent cone or the four-cent ice-cream pie. The two-cent cone was very small, in fact, it could fit comfortably into a child’s hand, and it was made by taking the ice cream from its container with a special scoop and piling it on the cone. Granny always suggested I eat only a part of the cone, then throw away the pointed end, because it had been touched by the vendor’s hand (though that was the best part, nice and crunchy, and it was regularly eaten in secret, after a pretence of discarding it).
The four-cent pie was made by a special little machine, also silvery, which pressed two disks of sweet biscuit against a cylindrical section of ice cream. First, you had to thrust your tongue into the gap between the biscuits until it touched the central nucleus of ice cream; then, gradually, you ate the whole thing, the biscuit surfaces softening as they became soaked in creamy nectar. Granny had no advice to give here: in theory, the pies had been touched only by the machine; in practice, the vendor had held them in his hand while giving them to us, but it was impossible to isolate the contaminated area.
I was fascinated, however, by some of my peers, whose parents bought them not a four-cent pie but two two-cent cones. These privileged children advanced proudly with one cone in their right hand and one in their left; and expertly moving their head from side to side, they licked first one, then the other. This liturgy seemed to me so sumptuously enviable, that many times I asked to be allowed to celebrate it. In vain. My elders were inflexible: a four-cent ice, yes; but two two-cent ones, absolutely no.
As anyone can see, neither mathematics nor economy nor dietetics justified this refusal. Nor did hygiene, assuming that in due course the tips of both cones were discarded. The pathetic, and obviously mendacious, justification was that a boy concerned with turning his eyes from one cone to the other was more inclined to stumble over stones, steps, or cracks in the pavement. I dimly sensed that there was another secret justification, cruelly pedagogical, but I was unable to grasp it.
Today, citizen and victim of a consumer society, a civilization of excess and waste (which the society of the thirties was not), I realize that those dear and now departed elders were right. Two two-cent cones instead of one at four cents did not signify squandering, economically speaking, but symbolically they surely did. It was for this precise reason, that I yearned for them: because two ice creams suggested excess. And this was precisely why they were denied to me: because they looked indecent, an insult to poverty, a display of fictitious privilege, a boast of wealth. Only spoiled children ate two cones at once, those children who in fairy tales were rightly punished, as Pinocchio was when he rejected the skin and the stalk. And parents who encouraged this weakness, appropriate to little parvenus, were bringing up their children in the foolish theatre of “I’d like to but I can’t.” They were preparing them to turn up at tourist-class check-in with a fake Gucci bag bought from a street peddler on the beach at Rimini.
Nowadays the moralist risks seeming at odds with morality, in a world where the consumer civilization now wants even adults to be spoiled, and promises them always something more, from the wristwatch in the box of detergent to the bonus bangle sheathed, with the magazine it accompanies, in a plastic envelope. Like the parents of those ambidextrous gluttons I so envied, the consumer civilization pretends to give more, but actually gives, for four cents, what is worth four cents. You will throw away the old transistor radio to purchase the new one, that boasts an alarm clock as well, but some inexplicable defect in the mechanism will guarantee that the radio lasts only a year. The new cheap car will have leather seats, double side mirrors adjustable from inside, and a panelled dashboard, but it will not last nearly so long as the glorious old Fiat 500, which, even when it broke down, could be started again with a kick. The morality of the old days made Spartans of us all, while today’s morality wants all of us to be sybarites.
Question 4: Which of the following cannot be inferred from the passage?
a) Today’s society is more extravagant than the society of the 1930s.
b) The act of eating two ice cream cones is akin to a ceremonial process.
c) Elders rightly suggested that a boy turning eyes from one cone to the other was more likely to fall.
d) Despite seeming to promise more, the consumer civilization gives away exactly what the thing is worth.
e) The consumer civilization attempts to spoil children and adults alike.
4) Answer (C)
The reason elders gave to the children to dissuade them from buying two ice-creams was that a boy turning eyes from one cone to the other, one in each hand was more likely to fall. But, as rightly guessed by the author, there is a ‘deeper’ reason for parents’ refusal to let children buy two ice-creams. Therefore, the claim that elders ‘rightly suggested that a boy turning eyes from one cone to the other was more likely to fall’ is incorrect. Option c) is the correct answer.
Question 5: The author pined for two two-cent cones instead of one four-cent pie because
a) it made dietetic sense.
b) it suggested intemperance.
c) it was more fun.
d) it had a visual appeal.
e) he was a glutton.
5) Answer (B)
Consider the following sentence from the passage: “This liturgy seemed to me so…to celebrate it”. From this sentence, we can understand that the main reason why the author wanted two two-cent cones instead of one four-cent cone was because it suggested intemperance. Option b) is the correct answer.
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Question 6: What does the author mean by “nowadays the moralist risks seeming at odds with morality”?
a) The moralists of yesterday have become immoral today.
b) The concept of morality has changed over the years.
c) Consumerism is amoral.
d) The risks associated with immorality have gone up.
e) The purist’s view of morality is fast becoming popular
6) Answer (B)
Refer to the lines of the para “Nowadays the moralist risks seeming at odds with morality, in a world where the consumer civilization now wants even adults to be spoiled, and promises them always something more, from the wristwatch in the box of detergent to the bonus bangle sheathed, with the magazine it accompanies, in a plastic envelope.”
This explains option B.
Question 7: According to the author, the justification for refusal to let him eat two cones was plausibly
7) Answer (A)
Refer to the para 4 “The pathetic, and obviously mendacious, justification was that a boy concerned with turning his eyes from one cone to the other was more inclined to stumble over stones, steps, or cracks in the pavement. I dimly sensed that there was another secret justification, cruelly pedagogical, but I was unable to grasp it.”
According to the author the justification was pedagogical, didactic comes closest to the meaning.
Fifty feet away three male lions lay by the road. They didn’t appear to have a hair on their heads. Noting the color of their noses (leonine noses darken as they age, from pink to black), Craig estimated that they were six years old — young adults. “This is wonderful!” he said, after staring at them for several moments. “This is what we came to see. They really are maneless.” Craig, a professor at the University of Minnesota, is arguably the leading expert on the majestic Serengeti lion, whose head is mantled in long, thick hair. He and Peyton West, a doctoral student who has been working with him in Tanzania, had never seen the Tsavo lions that live some 200 miles east of the Serengeti. The scientists had partly suspected that the maneless males were adolescents mistaken for adults by amateur observers. Now they knew better.
The Tsavo research expedition was mostly Peyton’s show. She had spent several years in Tanzania, compiling the data she needed to answer a question that ought to have been answered long ago: Why do lions have manes? It’s the only cat, wild or domestic, that displays such ornamentation. In Tsavo she was attacking the riddle from the opposite angle. Why do its lions not have manes? (Some “maneless” lions in Tsavo East do have partial manes, but they rarely attain the regal glory of the Serengeti lions.) Does environmental adaptation account for the trait? Are the lions of Tsavo, as some people believe, a distinct subspecies of their Serengeti cousins?
The Serengeti lions have been under continuous observation for more than 35 years, beginning with George Schaller’s pioneering work in the 1960s. But the lions in Tsavo, Kenya’s oldest and largest protected ecosystem, have hardly been studied. Consequently, legends have grown up around them. Not only do they look different, according to the myths, they behave differently, displaying greater cunning and aggressiveness. “Remember too,” Kenya: The Rough Guide warns, “Tsavo’s lions have a reputation of ferocity.” Their fearsome image became well-known in 1898, when two males stalled construction of what is now Kenya Railways by allegedly killing and eating 135 Indian and African laborers. A British Army officer in charge of building a railroad bridge over the Tsavo River, Lt. Col. J. H. Patterson, spent nine months pursuing the pair before he brought them to bay and killed them. Stuffed and mounted, they now glare at visitors to the Field Museum in Chicago. Patterson’s account of the leonine reign of terror, The Man-Eaters of Tsavo, was an international best seller when published in 1907. Still in print, the book has made Tsavo’s lions notorious. That annoys some scientists. “People don’t want to give up on mythology,” Dennis King told me one day. The zoologist has been working in Tsavo off and on for four years. “I am so sick of this maneater business. Patterson made a helluva lot of money off that story, but Tsavo’s lions are no more likely to turn man-eater than lions from elsewhere.”
But tales of their savagery and wiliness don’t all come from sensationalist authors looking to make a buck. Tsavo lions are generally larger than lions elsewhere, enabling them to take down the predominant prey animal in Tsavo, the Cape buffalo, one of the strongest, most aggressive animals of Earth. The buffalo don’t give up easily: They often kill or severely injure an attacking lion, and a wounded lion might be more likely to turn to cattle and humans for food.
And other prey is less abundant in Tsavo than in other traditional lion haunts. A hungry lion is more likely to attack humans. Safari guides and Kenya Wildlife Service rangers tell of lions attacking Land Rovers, raiding camps, stalking tourists. Tsavo is a tough neighborhood, they say, and it breeds tougher lions.
But are they really tougher? And if so, is there any connection between their manelessness and their ferocity? An intriguing hypothesis was advanced two years ago by Gnoske and Peterhans: Tsavo lions may be similar to the unmaned cave lions of the Pleistocene. The Serengeti variety is among the most evolved of the species — the latest model, so to speak — while certain morphological differences in Tsavo lions (bigger bodies, smaller skulls, and maybe even lack of a mane) suggest that they are closer to the primitive ancestor of all lions. Craig and Peyton had serious doubts about this idea, but admitted that Tsavo lions pose a mystery to science.
Question 8: The book Man-Eaters of Tsavo annoys some scientists because
a) it revealed that Tsavo lions are ferocious.
b) Patterson made a helluva lot of money from the book by sensationalism.
c) it perpetuated the bad name Tsavo lions had.
d) it narrated how two male Tsavo lions were killed.
8) Answer (C)
Refer to the following lines of the third para:”Patterson’s account of the leonine reign of terror, The Man-Eaters of Tsavo, was an international best seller when published in 1907. Still in print, the book has made Tsavo’s lions notorious.”
Question 9: The sentence which concludes the first paragraph, “Now they knew better”, implies that:
a) The two scientists were struck by wonder on seeing maneless lions for the first time.
b) Though Craig was an expert on the Serengeti lion, now he also knew about the Tsavo lions.
c) Earlier, Craig and West thought that amateur observers had been mistaken.
d) Craig was now able to confirm that darkening of the noses as lions aged applied toTsavo lions as well.
9) Answer (C)
Refer to the line just behind the given phrase:”The scientists had partly suspected that the maneless males were adolescents mistaken for adults by amateur observers. Now they knew better.” This implies option c.
Question 10: According to the passage, which of the following has NOT contributed to the popular image of Tsavo lions as savage creatures?
a) Tsavo lions have been observed to bring down one of the strongest and most aggressive animals . the Cape buffalo.
b) In contrast to the situation in traditional lion haunts, scarcity of non-buffalo prey in the Tsavo makes the Tsavo lions more aggressive.
c) The Tsavo lion is considered to be less evolved than the Serengeti variety.
d) Tsavo lions have been observed to attack vehicles as well as humans.
10) Answer (C)
All other choices are there in 4th and 5th paragraph: Refer to these lines
“But tales of their savagery and wiliness don’t all come from sensationalist authors looking to make a buck. Tsavo lions are generally larger than lions elsewhere, enabling them to take down the predominant prey animal in Tsavo, the Cape buffalo, one of the strongest, most aggressive animals of Earth. The buffalo don’t give up easily: They often kill or severely injure an attacking lion, and a wounded lion might be more likely to turn to cattle and humans for food.
And other prey is less abundant in Tsavo than in other traditional lion haunts. A hungry lion is more likely to attack humans. Safari guides and Kenya Wildlife Service rangers tell of lions attacking Land Rovers, raiding camps, stalking tourists. Tsavo is a tough neighborhood, they say, and it breeds tougher lions.”
Question 11: Which of the following, if true, would weaken the hypothesis advanced by Gnoske and Peterhans most?
a) Craig and Peyton develop even more serious doubts about the idea that Tsavo lions are primitive.
b) The maneless Tsavo East lions are shown to be closer to the cave lions.
c) Pleistocene cave lions are shown to be far less violent than believed.
d) The morphological variations in body and skull size between the cave and Tsavo lions are found to be insignificant.
11) Answer (C)
Option c satisfies the criteria the most. If cave lions are far less violent, then Tsavo would also be less voilent whereas in the paragraph, tsavo lions are shown to be more voilent.
The passage below is accompanied by a set of six questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
During the frigid season… it’s often necessary to nestle under a blanket to try to stay warm. The temperature difference between the blanket and the air outside is so palpable that we often have trouble leaving our warm refuge. Many plants and animals similarly hunker down, relying on snow cover for safety from winter’s harsh conditions. The small area between the snowpack and the ground, called the subnivium… might be the most important ecosystem that you have never heard of.
The subnivium is so well-insulated and stable that its temperature holds steady at around 32 degree Fahrenheit (0 degree Celsius). Although that might still sound cold, a constant temperature of 32 degree Fahrenheit can often be 30 to 40 degrees warmer than the air temperature during the peak of winter. Because of this large temperature difference, a wide variety of species…depend on the subnivium for winter protection.
For many organisms living in temperate and Arctic regions, the difference between being under the snow or outside it is a matter of life and death. Consequently, disruptions to the subnivium brought about by climate change will affect everything from population dynamics to nutrient cycling through the ecosystem.
The formation and stability of the subnivium requires more than a few flurries. Winter ecologists have suggested that eight inches of snow is necessary to develop a stable layer of insulation. Depth is not the only factor, however. More accurately, the stability of the subnivium depends on the interaction between snow depth and snow density. Imagine being under a stack of blankets that are all flattened and pressed together. When compressed, the blankets essentially form one compacted layer. In contrast, when they are lightly placed on top of one another, their insulative capacity increases because the air pockets between them trap heat. Greater depths of low-density snow are therefore better at insulating the ground.
Both depth and density of snow are sensitive to temperature. Scientists are now beginning to explore how climate change will affect the subnivium, as well as the species that depend on it. At first glance, warmer winters seem beneficial for species that have difficulty surviving subzero temperatures; however, as with most ecological phenomena, the consequences are not so straightforward. Research has shown that the snow season (the period when snow is more likely than rain) has become shorter since l970. When rain falls on snow, it increases the density of the snow and reduces its insulative capacity. Therefore, even though winters are expected to become warmer overall from future climate change, the subnivium will tend to become colder and more variable with less protection from the above-ground temperatures.
The effects of a colder subnivium are complex… For example, shrubs such as crowberry and alpine azalea that grow along the forest floor tend to block the wind and so retain higher depths of snow around them. This captured snow helps to keep soils insulated and in turn increases plant decomposition and nutrient release. In field experiments, researchers removed a portion. of the snow cover to investigate the importance of the subnivium’s insulation. They found that soil frost in the snow-free area resulted in damage to plant roots and sometimes even the death of the plant.
Question 12: The purpose of this passage is to
a) introduce readers to a relatively unknown ecosystem: the subnivium.
b) explain how the subnivium works to provide shelter and food to several species.
c) outline the effects of climate change on the subnivium.
d) draw an analogy between the effect of blankets on humans and of snow cover on species living in the subnivium.
12) Answer (C)
The entire passage revolves around the effects of climate change on subnivium.
We can eliminate option D directly as it talks about a small illustration. It cannot be said to be the purpose of the passage. Options A and B emphasize subnivium as the subject. However, the passage is about the effects of climate change on subnivium rather than subnivium itself. Throughout the passage, the author discusses the effects of various climatic changes and how it affects the subnivium.
Therefore, option C is the right answer.
Question 13: All of the following statements are true EXCEPT
a) Snow depth and Snow density both influence the stability of the subnivium.
b) Climate change has some positive effects on the subnivium.
c) The subnivium maintains a steady temperature that can be 30 to 40 degrees warmer than the winter air temperature.
d) Researchers have established the adverse effects of dwindling snow cover on the subnivium.
13) Answer (B)
The author mentions that ‘Both depth and density of snow are sensitive to temperature.’ Therefore, we can easily eliminate option A.
Option C talks about the insulating properties of subnivium which has been explicitly mentioned in the passage – ‘Although that might still sound cold, a constant temperature of 32°F can often be 30 to 40 degrees warmer than the air temperature during the peak of winter.’ Therefore, we can eliminate option C too.
Option D states that researchers have established the adverse effects of the dwindling snow cover in subnivium. From the line starting with ‘research has shown that…’, we can infer that the effects of the dwindling snow cover on subnivium has been established.
The entire passage does not discuss any positive effect of climate change on the subnivium. Therefore, we can say that option B is the right answer.
Question 14: Based on this extract, the author would support which one of the following actions?
a) The use of snow machines in winter to ensure snow cover of at least eight inches.
b) Government action to curb climate change.
c) Adding nutrients to the soil in winter.
d) Planting more shrubs in areas of short snow season.
14) Answer (B)
The author mentions in the passage that the quality of snow also plays a vital role. Therefore, maintaining 8 inches of snow with a machine will not fix the problem. Moreover, the option feels too shallow and unsustainable. Therefore, we can eliminate option A.
Option C also feels shallow and unrealistic. Moreover, it has not been mentioned that adding nutrients will fix the issue.
Option D suggests planting shrubs. But, in the last paragraph the author mentions that the effects are multilayered and complex. Options A, C, and D try to address the symptom than attacking the cause. Option B offers a more viable solution and addresses the cause of the issue rather than its manifestation. Therefore, the author is most likely to agree with option B and hence, option B is the right answer.
Question 15: In paragraph 6, the author provides the examples of crowberry and alpine azalea to demonstrate that
a) Despite frigid temperatures, several species survive in temperate and Arctic regions.
b) Due to frigid temperatures in the temperate and Arctic regions, plant species that survive tend to be shrubs rather than trees.
c) The crowberry and alpine azalea are abundant in temperate and Arctic regions.
d) The stability of the subnivium depends on several interrelated factors, including shrubs on the forest floor.
15) Answer (D)
The reason for the inclusion of the shrubs must be in line with the central idea of the passage. Options A and C are too general and hence, can be ruled out easily. Option B states that plants that tend to survive turn out to be shrubs. But, it has not been mentioned anywhere in the passage.
The last paragraph clearly mentions that the effects of colder subnivium are multilayered and interrelated. The shrubs tend to prove the point. The paragraph discusses the effect on the shrubs in detail, adding substance to the statement.
Therefore, option D is the right answer.
Question 16: Which one of the following statements can be inferred from the passage?
a) In an ecosystem, altering any one element has a ripple effect on all others.
b) Climate change affects temperate and Artie regions more than equatorial or arid ones.
c) A compact layer of wool is warmer than a similarly compact layer of goose down.
d) The loss of the subnivium, while tragic, will affect only temperate and Artic regions.
16) Answer (A)
Options B and D mention that it will be the arctic and the temperate regions that will be affected. Though we do not know the effect of climate change on the tropical regions, we cannot claim that there will be no effects. The passage does not give us sufficient information to make that claim. Therefore, we can rule out options B and D.
Option C states that a compact layer of wool is warmer than a similarly compact layer of goose down. Again, the passage does not provide us with sufficient information to substantiate this claim. We do not have sufficient details to compare 2 different materials. Therefore, option C can be ruled out as well.
Option A talks about ripple effect. The entire passage is about how the effects of climate change are interrelated. Ripple effect also discusses the same. Therefore, option A is the right answer.
Question 17: In paragraph 1, the author uses blankets as a device to
a) evoke the bitter cold of winter in the minds of readers.
b) explain how blankets work to keep us warm.
c) draw an analogy between blankets and the snow pack.
d) alert readers to the fatal effects of excessive exposure to the cold.
17) Answer (C)
In the passage, author uses the example to explain how having some spaces between layers increases the insulating property. He then uses the same logic to explain the effects of increase in density of snow on subnivium. Therefore, the author uses the example to draw an analogy. Therefore, option C is the right answer.