# SETS

• Everywhere, at home, in school, or in the
market, the word set is already a
byword.
• Whenever we talk of a collection of
appliances, books, flowers, players,
scholars, kitchen utensils, heroes, and
the like, we are using the concept of set
loosely.
• In mathematics, we also talk of sets such
as sets of numbers, set of geometric
figures, set of geometric theorems, and
solution sets. In this chapter, we shall
consider the mathematical definition of
sets and the different operations on sets.
SETS
• A set is a well-defined collection of distinct
objects referred to as members or elements of
the set.
• For example, we have the set of planets, the
set of continents in the world, the set of colors
in the rainbow, the set of even numbers, the
set of real numbers, the set of factors of 36,
and so on.
• Sets are represented by capital letters and
their elements are enclosed by braces { }.

• Set Notations
• Sets can be described in two ways, namely,
the roster or listing method and the rule
method. Obviously, the roster method is
done by enumerating the elements of the
set.
• For example, we have
• A = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5},
• V = {a, e, i, o, u},
• C = {1, 2, 3, …}.
• The three dots in C, called ellipsis, are used to
indicate that the list is to continue
indefinitely to include other numbers
following the same pattern shown in the first
few terms.

• The rule method for describing sets is done by
stating either a rule, a definition or a condition
that will make it clear that an object belongs
to the set. Sometimes, it is written in the
"set-builder" notation , that is,
• A= {x,x is a natural number
• less than 6}
• read as "set A of all x’s such that x",
where x is the variable, the vertical
bar (,) replaces the words "such that"
and the given set A is called the
replacement set of the variable x.
• The variable x is to be replaced by a
name of an element of the set. Any
lower case (small) letter may be used as
the variable.
• In case the elements of a set are
letters, these are written in lower
case.
Roster Method Rule Method

Set-Builder
Notation

1. C = {2, 4,
6, 8}
C is the set of
even counting
numbers less
than 10.
C = {x|x is an
even counting
number less
than 10}

2. M = {m, o,
n, d, a, y}
M is the set of
letters in the
word Monday
M = {x|x is
a letter in
the word
Monday}
3. O = {1, 3, 9}
O is the set of
odd divisors of
36.
O = {x|x is
an odd divisor
of 36}
• To indicate that an element belongs to a
given set, the Greek letter epsilon, e, is
used.
• For example, 8 e C (read 8 is an
element of C or 8 belongs to C), m e M,
and 9 e O.
• However, 3 e C (read 3 is not an element
of C), x e M, and 5 e O.
• The number of elements in a set A is
called the cardinal number or
cardinality of A and this is denoted
by n(A).
• For example, n(D) = 7 and n(M) = 12,
where D is the set of days of the
week and M is the set of months of
the year.
Drill Exercises
• A. Give the cardinality of each of the following sets and
enumerate its elements:
• 1. The lady presidents of the Philippines
• 2. The sense organs
• 3. The suits of a deck of cards
• 4. The Philippine coins in the new millennium
• B. Give two sets with exactly:
• 1. 1 element
• 2. 2 elements
• 3. 3 elements
• C. Using the roster method, write the elements of the set
• 1. E of all even prime numbers.
• 2. M of all multiples of 5 less than 30.
• 3. D of all positive composite divisors of 54.
• 4. E of all even factors of 36.
• 5. O of all odd divisors of 24.
• D. Describe each of the following sets:
• 1. M = {January, March, May, July, August,
• October, December}
• 2. N = {3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18}
• 3. O = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6}
• 4. P = { a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j}
• 5. Q = {2}
• Use the set builder notation to describe the sets D
above.
• Use the roster method to specify the following
sets:
• A = {a,a is a counting number less than 8}
• B = {b,b is a positive divisor of 48}
• C = {c,c is a positive multiple of 12 less than 50}
• D = {d,d is common factor of 42 and 96}
• E = {e,e is a positive number less than 100 that is
divisible by 7}
Kinds of Sets
• Sets are classified as follows:
• Empty set or null set is a set without any
element or member.
• For example, the set of odd numbers divisible
by 2 is an empty set. This is denoted by { } or
| and its cardinality is 0.

• Unit set is a set with only one
element.
• For example, the set of months with
less than 30 days consists of only one
element which is February.

• Finite set is a set that contains a definite
number of elements.
• Thus, a finite set contains a countable
number of elements as in
• 1. the set of factors of 54,
• 2. the set of students in a certain classroom,
or
• 3. the set of consonants in the English
alphabet.
• Infinite set is a set that does not contain a
countable number of elements.
• As in the case of the set of integers.
• Universal set is the totality of all the
elements under discussion and it is denoted
by the capital letter U.

• For example, if V is the set of vowels and C is
the set of consonants, then U is set of all the
letters in the English alphabet, that is,
• U = {a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r,
s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z}.

Relationships Between Pairs of Sets
• Two or more sets may be classified as follows:
• Disjoint sets are sets which have no element
in common.
• Sets V and C , where V is the set of vowels
and C is the set of consonants, are disjoint
sets.
• Equal sets are sets that have exactly the same
elements, regardless of the order the
elements are listed.
• For example,
• if X = {a, b, c, d, e}
• and Y = {b, c, a, e, d},
then X = Y.

• Equivalent sets are sets that have the same
cardinality, that is, the elements of one set can
be matched, one-to-one, with the elements
of another set.
• For example, sets
• M = {a, b, c, d, e}
• and N = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5} are equivalent sets.
• We can associate each element of M with an
element of N as shown below.
• M = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5}

• N = {a, b, c, d, e}
• The double-headed arrows indicate one
possible matching between the elements of
sets M and N.
• Note that n(M) = 5 and n(N) = 5.
• Symbolically, we write M ~ N.
EXERCISES
• 1. Are equal sets equivalent?
• 2. Are two equivalent sets equal?.
• 3. Are two empty sets
equivalent? equal?
Subsets
• Set A is a subset of set B if for every element
of A is an element of B.
• In symbols, we write
• A c B (read as "A is a subset of B").
• We say that A c B if and only if for
every x e A, x e B.
• If A c B, we may also write
• B A, and say that A is contained in B
or B contains A or B is a superset of
A.

• If A c B and A = B, we say that A is a
proper subset of B.
• The symbol A c B means that every
element of A belongs to B and B
contains at least one element not
found in A.
• We say that A c B if and only if for every x e
A, x e B, there exists some y e B such that
y e A.
• For example, if
• A = {1, 2, 3, 4},
• B = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5} and
• C = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7},
• then A c C, A c B and B c C.

• On the other hand,
• if A c B and B A and that A = B, then A is an
improper subset of B and B is an
improper subset of A. In symbols, we write
• A B and B A.
• Now consider M = {1, 2, 3}, then
N = {1, 2} is a subset of M.
• How many subsets has M?
• Notice that it is possible to have subsets of 1
element, 2 elements, and 3 elements, that is,
{1}, {2}, {3}, {1, 2}, {1, 3}, {2, 3},
• {1, 2, 3}.

• In fact a set is a subset of itself.
• Also, the empty set { } is a subset of M since
there is no element of an empty set which is
not an element of M.
• The empty set is a subset of every set.
• The empty set and the set itself are called
trivial subsets of any given set.
• How many subsets does a set have?
• This can be answered by listing the
subsets of a set with 1 element, 2
elements, 3 elements, and so on and
then observing patterns.

Sets Number of
Elements
Number of
Subsets
A = {a} 1 2
B = {a, b} 2 4
C = {a, b, c}
D = {a, b, c, d}
3
4
8
16
• Observe that the total number of subsets of
any given set may be determined by the
formula 2
n
, where n is the cardinality or
the number of elements of the set.
• Since n(A) = 1, the number of subsets of A is
2
1
= 2.
• The number of subsets of B is 2
2
= 4 since n(B)
= 2.
• Similarly, the number of subsets of C is 2
3
=
8 since n(C) = 3, while the number of subsets
of
• D is 2
4
= 16 since n(D) = 4.

Exercises
• A. Indicate the kind of sets described in each of the
following:
• 1. the positive integers divisible by 10
• 2. the three-digit natural numbers
• 3. the even prime numbers
• 4. the seats in a certain movie house
• 5. the qualified voters in a certain precinct
• Given: A = {1, 2, 3, 4}.
• Write T if the statement is true and F if the
statement is false.
• 1. 2 e A
• 2. A c A
• 3. | e A
• 4. {4} c A
• 5. {2, 3} e A

• 6. 1 c A
• 7. | c A
• 8. 1, 4 e A
• 9. A e A
• 10. 5 e A
e
OPERATIONS AND RELATIONS ON
SETS
• The relations between and among sets
can be represented pictorially by using
the Venn diagram which was introduced
by James Venn, an English logician.
• A Venn diagram usually consists
of a rectangle which represents
the universal set U and closed
curves drawn within the
rectangle to represent subsets of
U.
• The rectangle represents the universal set U
and
• the circle represents the subset A with
elements written inside
• the circle.
• Notice that x e A and a e U,
• but a e U and a e A.
• Therefore, A c U.
• Consider the following sets:
• U = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9},
• A = {1, 2, 4, 6, 8}, and
• B = { 1, 3, 4, 5, 7}.
• Let us draw the Venn diagram that will
represent the relationship among these sets.
• Notice that the elements common to
sets A and B are found in the region
where the circles overlap while the
elements that belong to the
universal set U, but not to set A or
set B are found inside the rectangle
but outside the circles.
Operations on Sets
• Consider two sets A and B which are
subsets of the universal set U.
• The union of two sets A and B, denoted
by A B (read as "A union B"), is the set
of all elements found in A or in B or in
both A and B.
• In symbols, we write
• A B = {x,x e A or x e B}.
• For example, if
• A = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5} and
• B = {2, 4, 6, 8}. then
A B = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8}.
• The intersection of two sets A and B,
denoted by A · B
• (read as "A intersection B"), is the set of all
elements common to both A and B.
• In symbols, we write
• A · B = {x,x e A and x e B}.
• Using the preceding example, we see that A
· B = {2, 4}.
• The complement of a set A, denoted by A’
(read as "A complement" or "A prime"), is
the set of all elements in U that are not
found in A, that is,
• A’ = {x,x e U and x e A}.
• With A = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5} and
• U = {1, 2, 3,4 5, 6, 7, 8, 9},
• A’ = {6, 7, 8, 9}.
• What is A A’ ? A · A’?
• The difference of two sets A and B, denoted by
A – B (read as "A minus B"), is the set of all
elements found in A but not in B. In symbols,
we write
• A – B = {x,x e A and x e B}.

• Thus, if A = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5} and
• B = {2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9}, then
• A – B = {1, 3, 5} and
• B – A = {6, 7, 8, 9}.
• The cross product of two sets A and
B, denoted by A × B (read as “A cross
B”), is the set of ordered pairs (x, y)
such that x e A and y e B. Every
element of A is paired with every
element of B in that particular order.
• If A = {1, 2} and
• B = {3, 4}, then
• A × B = {(1, 3), (1, 4),
• (2, 3), (2, 4)}
• and
• B × A = {(3, 1), (3, 2),
• (4, 1), (4, 2)}