Probability Rules

In this lesson of the probability fundamentals course, you’ll learn the fundamental rules of probability, including concepts like sample space, certain and impossible events, the addition rule, Venn diagrams, set notation and more.

Understanding set notation is important because the outcomes of a random experiment (which we covered in the estimating probabilities mission) are usually represented as a set — a collection of distinct objects. This will be particularly helpful as you delve more into probability and probability theory.

In probability, it’s useful to visualize events using Venn diagrams, and in this lesson you’ll learn why! While learning Venn diagrams, you will also learn about mutually exclusive and mutually non-exclusive events, and why they are important for assessing probability.

In this lesson, you will come across Greek letters and other symbols. These may seem confusing at first, but don’t worry — we will explain each one as it appears to make sure you understand each concept before moving on to the next.


  • Learn about sample spaces
  • Learn how to read Venn diagrams
  • Learn about impssible and certain events
  • Learn about the addition rule
  • Learn how to use set notation

Lesson Outline

  1. Sample Space
  2. Probability of Events
  3. Certain and Impossible Events
  4. The Addition Rule
  5. Venn Diagrams
  6. Exceptions to the Addition Rule
  7. Mutually Exclusive Events
  8. Set Notation
  9. Next Steps
  10. Takeaways

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