I know that given $$ \forall x \;\; P(x) \wedge \forall x \;\; Q(x) $$ can be simplified to $$ \forall x \;\; (P(x) \vee Q(x)) $$ but does the same apply if its $ \neg \forall x P(x) \wedge \neg \forall x \;\; Q(x) $ ? Can you simplify that to $ \neg\forall x \;\; (P(x) \wedge Q(x)) $ ?

My main question is whether the distributive property applies when all the quantifiers are negated?

Also can the same work with the existential quantifier?

does $$ \neg \exists x P(x) \vee \neg \exists x Q(x) = \neg \exists x(P(x)\vee Q(x))$$

  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean with "simplified to" : logical equivalence ? $\endgroup$ – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Nov 10 '15 at 7:47

here are some basic distributive properties in quantifiers, hope it might help someone.

∀x(P(x) ∧ Q(x)) ≡ (∀xP(x) ∧ ∀xQ(x))

∃x(P(x) ∧ Q(x)) → (∃xP(x) ∧ ∃xQ(x))

∀x(P(x) ∨ Q(x)) ← (∀xP(x) ∨ ∀xQ(x))

∃x(P(x) ∨ Q(x)) ≡ (∃xP(x) ∨ ∃xQ(x))

∀x(P(x) → Q(x)) ← (∃xP(x) → ∀xQ(x))

∃x(P(x) → Q(x)) ≡ (∀xP(x) → ∃xQ(x))

∀x¬P(x) ≡ ¬∃xP(x)

∃x¬P(x) ≡ ¬∀xP(x)

∀x∃yT(x,y) ← ∃y∀xT(x,y)

∀x∀yT(x,y) ≡ ∀y∀xT(x,y)

∃x∃yT(x,y) ≡ ∃y∃xT(x,y)

∀x(P(x) ∨ R) ≡ (∀xP(x) ∨ R)

∃x(P(x) ∧ R) ≡ (∃xP(x) ∧ R)

∀x(P(x) → R) ≡ (∃xP(x) → R)

∃x(P(x) → R) → (∀xP(x) → R)

∀x(R → Q(x)) ≡ (R → ∀xQ(x))

∃x(R → Q(x)) → (R → ∃xQ(x))

∀xR ← R

∃xR → R

The following formulas are not valid.

   A                B           counterexample

∃x(P(x) ∧ Q(x)) ← (∃xP(x) ∧ ∃xQ(x)) D = {a, b}, M = {P(a), Q(b)}

∀x(P(x) ∨ Q(x)) → (∀xP(x) ∨ ∀xQ(x)) D = {a, b}, M = {P(a), Q(b)}

∀x(P(x) → Q(x)) → (∃xP(x) → ∀xQ(x)) D = {a, b}, M = {P(a), Q(a)}

∀x∃yT(x,y) → ∃y∀xT(x,y) D = {a, b}, M = {T(a,b), T(b,a)}

∃x(P(x) → R) ← (∀xP(x) → R) D = Ø, M = {R}

∃x(R → Q(x)) ← (R → ∃xQ(x)) D = Ø, M = Ø

∀xR → R D = Ø, M = Ø

∃xR ← R D = Ø, M = {R}

Note: if empty domains are not allowed, then the last four implications are in fact valid.


No, not as you have it. $$\neg \forall x\;P(x)\;\wedge\; \neg \forall x\;Q(x) \iff \neg(\forall x\;P(x)\vee\forall x\;Q(x))$$

$$\neg \forall x\;P(x)\;\wedge\; \neg \forall x\;Q(x) \iff \exists x\;\neg P(x)\wedge\exists x\;\neg Q(x))$$


$$\neg \forall x\;P(x)\;\vee\; \neg \forall x\;Q(x) \iff \neg(\forall x\;P(x)\wedge\forall x\;Q(x)) \iff \neg \forall x\;(P(x)\wedge Q(x))$$

$$\neg \forall x\;P(x)\;\vee\; \neg \forall x\;Q(x) \iff \exists x\;\neg P(x)\vee\exists x\;\neg Q(x))\iff \exists x\;(\neg P(x)\vee\neg Q(x))$$

In short: remember your Dual Negation rules.


They are not equivalent, all we have is $$∀xP(x)∧∀xQ(x)\underset{\not\leftarrow}{\to}∀x(P(x)∨Q(x))$$ $$¬∀xP(x)∧¬∀xQ(x)\underset{\not\leftarrow}{\to}¬∀x(P(x)∧Q(x))$$ $$¬∃x(P(x)∨Q(x))\underset{\not\leftarrow}{\to}¬∃xP(x)∨¬∃xQ(x)$$

Additionally, if you had a hard time to deal with those quantifiers, here is my method

Since $\exists,\forall~(2\text{ choices})$ either distribute in or distribute out$~(2\text{ choices})$ over $\land,\lor,\to~(3\text{ choices})$, therefore there should be about $2\cdot2\cdot3=12$ implications in total. What i did is divide $12$ implications into $3$ collections, that each of them contains $3,3$ and $6$ implications, such that choose one implication from any collection, then we can easily derive other implications in that collection. For example as following:

$1.$ First we start from $\exists$ distribute in over $\land$ $$\exists x(Px\land Qx)\underset{\not\leftarrow}{\to}\exists xPx\land\exists xQx\tag*{$\exists$ distribute in over $\land$}$$ Consider the contrapositive, it's clear that $$\forall xPx\lor\forall xQx\underset{\not\leftarrow}{\to}\forall x(Px\lor Qx)\tag*{$\forall$ distribute out over $\lor$}$$ That is $$\exists xPx\to\forall xQx\underset{\not\leftarrow}{\to}\forall x(Px\to Qx)\tag*{$\forall$ distribute out over $\to$}$$ $2.$ In part one, we had see that in some sense $\exists$ can only distribute in over $\land$ but not distribute out. however we know that $$\exists xPx\land\forall xQx\underset{\not\leftarrow}{\to}\exists x(Px\land Qx)\tag*{$\exists$ distribute out over $\land$}$$ Consider the contrapositive then we get $$\forall x(Px\lor Qx)\underset{\not\leftarrow}{\to}\forall xPx\lor\exists xQx\tag*{$\forall$ distribute in over $\lor$}$$ That is $$\forall x(Px\to Qx)\underset{\not\leftarrow}{\to}\forall xPx\to\forall xQx\tag*{$\forall$ distribute in over $\to$}$$ $3.$ Then consider $\forall$ distribute over $\land$ that $$\forall x(Px\land Qx)\leftrightarrow\forall xPx\land\forall xQx\tag*{$\forall$ distribute over $\land$}$$ Then clearly $$\exists x(Px\lor Qx)\leftrightarrow\exists xPx\lor\exists xQx\tag*{$\exists$ distribute over $\lor$}$$ and $$\exists x(Px\to Qx)\leftrightarrow\forall xPx\to\exists xQx\tag*{$\exists$ distribute over $\to$}$$ Here in the same order, if $x$ not appear in $Q$, these hold for both directions:

$i.$ $$\exists x(Px\land Q)\leftrightarrow\exists xPx\land Q\tag*{$\exists$ distribute over $\land$}$$ $$\forall x(Px\lor Q)\leftrightarrow\forall xPx\lor Q\tag*{$\forall$ distribute over $\lor$}$$ $$\forall x(Px\to Q)\leftrightarrow\exists xPx\to Q\tag*{$\forall$ distribute over $\to$}$$ $$\forall x(Q\to Px)\leftrightarrow Q\to\forall xPx$$ $ii.$

Same as $i$.

$iii.$ $$\forall x(Px\land Q)\leftrightarrow\forall xPx\land Q\tag*{$\forall$ distribute over $\land$}$$ $$\exists x(Px\lor Q)\leftrightarrow\exists xPx\lor Q\tag*{$\exists$ distribute over $\lor$}$$ $$\exists x(Px\to Q)\leftrightarrow\forall xPx\to Q\tag*{$\exists$ distribute over $\to$}$$ $$\exists x(Q\to Px)\leftrightarrow Q\to\exists xPx$$

  • $\begingroup$ Also note $A\underset{\not\leftarrow}{\to} B$ doesn't means $(A\to B)\land\neg(B\to A)$, here i just want to say that the implication only work for one direction, but the other direction not necessarily always true or false. $\endgroup$ – Manx Apr 23 '20 at 3:15

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