# Is the order of universal/existential quantifiers important?

If you have a formula with existential quantifiers, it is important in which order they appear.

Just to make an easy example:

$\forall$ man $\exists$ woman: the woman is the true love of the man

which is obviously a different statement than

$\exists$ woman $\forall$ man: the women is the true love of the man

The first one means that there a many women - eventually for every man another woman. The second statement means there is one women that is loved by all men. Good for the woman, eventually bad for the men.

If you have two existential quantifiers or two universal quantifiers, does the order make a difference?

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No, it does not. – Brian M. Scott Sep 23 '12 at 8:06
$\forall$ man $\exists$ woman: some woman is the true love of the man -- I think it should be in this way. – Nikita Evseev Sep 23 '12 at 8:10
Although, $\forall x \forall (y<x) : (y<x^2)$ certainly is dependent on order, since the other way round makes no sense! (even though it can be written as $\forall x \forall y : (y<x) \to (y<x^2)$ which is the same as $\forall y \forall x : (y<x) \to (y<x^2)$) – NeuroFuzzy Sep 23 '12 at 9:07

Any number of successive quantifiers of the same kind can be replaced by a single quantifier by combining the quantified variables into a tuple; e.g. $\forall x\forall y$ is equivalent to $\forall(x,y)$. The order in the tuple is irrelevant, and thus so is the order of the quantifiers.