Venn Diagram Notation

Venn Diagram Notation

Venn diagrams are visual representations of groups that we call sets. Set notation or Venn diagram notation are the mathematical symbols that describe the different parts of a Venn diagram. There are over 30 different symbols used with Venn diagrams, but you only need to know a small section of these.

John Venn

John Venn (1834-1923)

John Venn (1834 – 1923) was an English mathematician, logician and philosopher. He’s best known for introducing Venn diagrams. These diagrams are named after him, so Venn is always written with a capital letter.

How Are Venn Diagrams Used?

Venn diagrams can be used to show different sets of items. The things in a set are called the elements.

For example, you could use a Venn diagram to show the multiples of 3 and the factors of 60. In this case, one of the sets (the multiples of 3) would be infinite so we might limit the numbers we are considering – we might only use the integers that are less than or equal to 30.

The set of numbers we are considering is called the universal set and is denoted by the Greek letter xi: ΞΎ. The elements in the universal set will vary; they could be all the numbers under 100, any polygon with less than 10 sides or all the countries in the world.

The Venn diagram below shows all the integers less than or equal to 30. Set A is the factors of 60 and set B is the multiples of 3.Β 

Venn diagram notation with integers less than or equal to 30

Complement your learning of Venn Diagram Notation with this Worksheet Pack

Venn Diagram Set Notation Worksheet

Intersects, Unions and Complements

The area where the two circles overlap is called the intersect. We denote it using the symbol ∩. In the Venn diagram above, the set A ∩ B = {3, 16, 12, 15, 30}. These are the integers that are both multiples of 3 and factors of 60.

The area that includes both circles is called the union. We denote it using the symbol βˆͺ. In the Venn diagram above, the set A βˆͺ B = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 21, 24, 27, 30}. These are the integers that are multiples of 3 or factors of 60 or both.

The area outside a set is called the complement. We denote it using the symbol β€˜. In the Venn diagram above, the set B’ = {1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 23, 25, 26, 28, 29}. These are the integers that are not multiples of 3.

These three symbols are shown by the shaded sections below.

Intersects, unions and complements

Three Practice Questions Using Venn Diagram Notation

1. Given ΞΎ = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10}, A = {2, 4, 6, 8, 10} and B = {2, 3, 6, 7, 8}, list the numbers in A βˆͺ B.

  • a. {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10}
  • b. {2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10}
  • c. {2, 6, 8}
  • d. {1, 5, 9}

2. Given ξ = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10}, A = {2, 4, 6, 8, 10} and B = {2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8}, list the numbers in A ∩ B.

  • a. {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10}
  • b. {2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10}
  • c. {2, 6, 8}
  • d. {1, 5, 9}

3. Given ΞΎ = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10}, A = {2, 4, 6, 8, 10} and B = {2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8}, list the numbers in A’.

  • a. {2, 4, 6, 8, 10}
  • b. {1, 3, 5, 7, 9}
  • c. {3, 5,}
  • d. {1, 5, 9}

1. Given ΞΎ = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10}, A = {2, 4, 6, 8, 10} and B = {2, 3, 6, 7, 8}, list the numbers in A βˆͺ B.

  • a. {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10}
  • b. {2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10} correct answer
  • c. {2, 6, 8}
  • d. {1, 5, 9}

2. Given ξ = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10}, A = {2, 4, 6, 8, 10} and B = {2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8}, list the numbers in A ∩ B.

  • a. {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10}
  • b. {2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10}
  • c. {2, 6, 8} correct answer
  • d. {1, 5, 9}

3. Given ΞΎ = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10}, A = {2, 4, 6, 8, 10} and B = {2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8}, list the numbers in A’.

  • a. {2, 4, 6, 8, 10}
  • b. {2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10} correct answer!
  • c. {3, 5,}
  • d. {1, 5, 9}


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