For this question I chose 4 as the answer however it was wrong. Can someone please explain the right answer This were the choices:

Suppose I wanted to prove the claim "A graph is a tree if and only if it has one fewer edge than it has vertices." Is this true or false, and why?

  1. This is true, because it is a known fact that the number of edges in a tree is one less than the number of vertices.

  2. This is false, because one can construct a disconnected graph with five vertices and four edges that is not a tree.

  3. This is false, because trees do not always have a number of edges equal to the number of vertices minus one.

  4. This is true, because the number of edges in a tree is always one less than the number of vertices, and also, you can't construct a graph that is not a tree if the number of edges is one less than the number of vertices. So both directions of the iff are satisfied.


Consider a cycle on 3 vertices $A,B,C$ and a stand-alone vertex $D$. You have 4 vertices, 3 edges and clearly not a tree.

But if you additionally assume $G$ is simple and connected, the claim is true.

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  • $\begingroup$ But then that graph would not be a tree since not all vertices are connected? $\endgroup$ – Ema Li Sep 16 '18 at 1:21
  • $\begingroup$ What is your definition of tree? The graph in @gt6989's claim is not a tree, but that's the whole point. You claimed it had to be a tree, and he showed that it did not have to be a tree. $\endgroup$ – The Count Sep 16 '18 at 1:22
  • $\begingroup$ Oh man the answer is 2!!! I misinterpreted the question... Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Ema Li Sep 16 '18 at 1:25
  • $\begingroup$ @DenadaBakiasi exactly $\endgroup$ – gt6989b Sep 16 '18 at 1:26

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