What is the rhetorical device/argument called when one says:

All surgeons are doctors, but not all doctors are surgeons.

  • 1
    I don't know what the "X Y Z, Z Y X" sentence structure is called in English grammar, but I do know "all surgeons are doctors, but not all doctors are surgeons" falls under syllogism in the philosophy of logic (and the term can be applied to such logical propositions in any language, even formal languages like mathematical notation, or programming code).
    – Dan Bron
    Oct 22, 2014 at 21:08
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    Grammatically, it's two sentences combined into a single sentence by connecting them with a conjunction. Is that the kind of answer you wanted?
    – Barmar
    Oct 22, 2014 at 21:48
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    @DanBron The statement is certainly not a syllogism as there is not at least two propositions and a conclusion. Nov 22, 2014 at 15:25

1 Answer 1


Antimetabole and possibly Chiasmus.


  • It would be nice to include the definition of each of these words, and possibly an example, in your answer.
    – IanF1
    Mar 20, 2015 at 7:55

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