inference from fairy tales to real life


Senior Member
Israel, Hebrew
Hello guys,
Here's a tricky question for you.. :)
some background - as simple as possible:

I'm teaching a story about a young girl and her father.. they were on a trip in the snowy mountains of Oregon, far away from populated area. The father had an accident and the girl needed to get help.. she remembered the story of Hansel and Gretel, and as she walked to town to get help she dropped candy wrappers so she'd find her way back to her father.. and that's how she saved her father's life.

could you say in these words : "the girl did the inference from fairy tale to real life?"
and "I want my class to understand the usefulness of inference from stories to real life"

Thank you ! :)
  • Alxmrphi

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Inference is not a word we'd use here...

    She took the idea from the story / fairy tale... and copied it (or re-created it)

    That's probably what I would say, the only other word I can think of that has a similar meaning is extrapolate, but that's quite formal and sciencey word, wouldn't reccomend it here.


    New Member
    Canada English
    The girl applied what she learned from a fairy tale into real life.

    I want my class to understand how useful it is to apply techniques learned from stories into real life.


    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I think, theoretically, you can use "inference" because it means that she reasoned her way out of the situation based on her knowledge of the story. "did the inference" doesn't work, though. She "made the inference".

    Having said that, I agree with Alex that this is not at all idiomatic and is probably unnecessarily confusing because "to infer" has a number of (slightly) different meanings.

    If I were teaching your class, I would simply use the word "relate".

    Thomas Veil

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I don't think that you need both "usefulness" and the verb. And I think that "utility" would be a less convoluted word. And perhaps a word other than "understand".

    "I want my class to appreciate the utility of fictional events in real life"
    "I want my class to consider the applicability of fictional events to real life"


    Senior Member
    USA English
    She followed the same plan as Hansel and Gretel in order to find her way back and saved her father's life.

    She used the same tactic as Hansel and Gretel . . .

    He used a plan she read in a fairy tale to solve a real life problem.


    Senior Member
    English - United States
    You're talking to children so I'd keep a sense of whimsy in your sentence.

    The young girl remembered what Hansel and Gretel had done and she wisely imitated or mimicked what she had learned from them. Sometimes fairytales are just like real life.

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