What is this sort of sentence/style/literary device called? I'm sure it has a name.

There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.

It appears that a point is being inverted to circularly tie to the initial point. I just don't know how to label this device.

Perhaps some more context:

There is no ice cream without vanilla, and there is no vanilla without ice cream.


Cookies are good, but there is no good without cookies.

I'd clarify this better if I had a clue of what's actually going on here, but to help you understand: people usually create statements this way to sound wise and/or righteous while causing a person to think (and it's usually a trivial attempt, for the record). It's a cliche style.

  • 1
    I see the structure as a form of antimetabole but that wouldn't demand the conditional logic in your example.
    – rosends
    Apr 24, 2013 at 13:57
  • Oh my God. Thank you. You can post that as an answer. I was looking for "antimetabole." Sweet. I'll accept the answer.
    – Mr_Spock
    Apr 24, 2013 at 13:59

1 Answer 1


The structure is that of an antimetabole.

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