Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


will you me an example of two events that are mutually exclusive and could you explain to me what mutually exclusive means?

Hi Kalyssa,

If you have two events, A and B, if they have no outcomes in common then they are mutually exclusive. This means that both events cannot happen at the same time.

A flipped coin coming up heads and the same coin coming up tails at the same time is impossible so they are mutually exclusive events.

If you roll a six-sided die, each of the sides 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 are mutually exclusive because only one side can be on top at once.

Using these ideas, you can come up with more examples on your own.



Here's anothe example. Roll two dice. One event is that each of the numbers that come up is even. The second event is that the sum of the numbers that come up is odd. These are mutually exclusive events because if the two numbers are even so is their sum.


Hi Kalyssa.

Mutually exclusive just means exactly one of the choices is true. For example, if I am sleeping, then I am not awake. If I am not sleeping, then I am awake.

Another example might be this: If I go swimming with my friends at the beach this afternoon, I cannot also spend the afternoon at my sister's birthday party. But if I go to the party, I can't go swimming as well. They are mutually exclusive.

Stephen La Rocque.>

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