I know that the proof by contradiction is useful when we know that there is only one answer and we can pick from two exclusive options. Therefore, if one doesn't work, we know the other is the correct answer. It seems to me that to use the proof I require, beforehand, the knowledge that the result can be only one option or the other.
When proving, that the sum of an irrational number and a rational number is irrational, we can use proof by contradiction to demonstrate that it can't be rational. Doesn't this assume that the sum can't be sometimes rational and other times irrational?
However, with the sum of two irrational numbers, the result can be either rational or irrational based on the chosen numbers. How can I deduce, beforehand, that the proof by contradiction won't be useful in this case?