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Concept

Mutually Exclusive Events

Two events and are said to be mutually exclusive or disjoint if the events cannot occur simultaneously. This means that and have no common outcomes, implying that the probability of and is zero.

By the Addition Rule of Probability, it can be concluded that the probability of or is equal to the sum of the individual probabilities.

Below, some examples of mutually exclusive events are presented.

One coin showing head and tail

Three or more events are mutually exclusive if all pairs are mutually exclusive.

  • In a soccer match, a team either wins, loses, or the result is a draw.
  • The outcome of rolling a dice is either or

Events can be mutually exclusive without being the only possible outcomes.

  • A given number is either negative or positive.
  • A card randomly drawn from a deck of cards is hearts or clubs.