In the first Venn diagram below, the two circles represent Freedom and Love, in that order. In the second diagram, they are the same Freedom and Love, but the label “Love without Freedom” puts each title-word under the wrong circle.

I need to be able to express “Love without Freedom” without changing the order of the words: “Freedom ___ Love”. Is there a word which reverses the focus of “without”?

I don't want to change the order of the circles in the second diagram because that won‘t be an obvious change, and they are supposed to fit together as a whole in the ideal option.

Love and freedom ven diagrams...

Edit Is this clearer?

enter image description here

  • Your question is garbled, and doesn't make sense. Please edit it.
    – Pitarou
    Commented Jan 20, 2014 at 5:31
  • 3
    @Pitarou Hope that helps. leeand00, if I've misinterpreted, click edit and have another go.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Jan 20, 2014 at 7:39
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    These Venn diagrams are wrong on two levels, the change in the dotted line and the lack of crossover color. I think this is (I'm guessing) deliberate, to show the lack of love in freedom. But there is also a problem in that they are in reality exactly alike. Commented Jan 20, 2014 at 8:08
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    I think the Venn diagram is confusing, regardless of any change in wording. If you want the word, freedom to be represented in teal, and love in grey you'll always end up with the same pattern. I think...
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 20, 2014 at 8:09

3 Answers 3


Love without Freedom does imply that 'Freedom' is missing and the corresponding Venn diagram will not have the grey area showing. The diagram is turning out incorrect probably because 'Love' uses a transparent shade here, use an opaque alternative similar to the grey of 'Freedom'.

The expression Love without Freedom does not need to be rephrased.

By the way, it's Venn diagram with a double n and a capital V.

Hope that helps.

  • 1
    Since this answer was written, the question has been edited to make it clearer.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Jan 20, 2014 at 7:44
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    @AndrewLeach I didn't say it wasn't clear. If the edit has changed the Q's implication, such that this answer is no longer valid, then it's the edit that needs a rethink. If not, this answer holds. Any other issues?
    – Kris
    Commented Jan 20, 2014 at 13:19
  • If you're happy with it, fine. (Although I also corrected ven)
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Jan 20, 2014 at 13:36

The problem with using a preposition which can distinguish between two states, like without or outside or except, is that it effectively excludes the second-mentioned — which is the one you want to focus on.

This has something to do with active/passive sentence construction: a phrase like “Freedom without love” is so abbreviated that there is no option but to interpret it as coming from an active sentence. This causes the problem when you want to reverse the “focus” because that needs a passive construction like “Freedom excluded by love”.

And that brings its own problem, because with any construction composed of two opposing ideas, it will always be the first which is primary. In “Freedom excluded by love” we focus on the loss of freedom, not the primacy of love which is needed in your scenario.

Consequently it’s probably better to retain your two existing phrases,

Freedom without Love
Love without Freedom

as they contrast beautifully, and drop the idea of using Venn diagrams. Perhaps you could find images of people acting together (or not together!) to illustrate the ideas?

  • I'm afraid that without the Venn Diagrams people won't get the idea, because they have to see the whole to understand what is right (and for that matter what is wrong with political culture lately).
    – leeand00
    Commented Jan 20, 2014 at 14:33

The best way I can think of to title your diagram is:

No Love; Freedom.

  • You seem to have got it right -- if that's the OP's idea: "No Love, only Freedom." (sounds like a marketing slogan lol.)
    – Kris
    Commented Jan 20, 2014 at 13:17

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