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In continuation of this question, Should one capitalize the first letter after an equation which is not at the end of a sentence?

For instance in the following example, should the second 'the' be capitalized?

In the equation:

z = x+y,

the symbol z represents the last number.

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Is this really a matter of English language and usage, rather than alegebraic convention? If so, I think we should close. – Barrie England Dec 15 '12 at 17:15
up vote 3 down vote accepted


Particularly if it's following a comma because you're not indicating the end of a sentence. If the equation ends in a full point, yes capitalise it.

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It's normal to prioritise the mathematical rather than the English 'requirements' in obviously mathematical writings. Thus, full stops will be omitted if there is any possibility of confusion with decimal point usage, and units will be omitted in algebraic manipulations and restored in the final answer. $x - $3y = $42.01. is cluttered. The comma in (your version of): In the equation: z = x+y, the symbol... is unnecessary, as both the obvious algebraic stanza and the formatting signal the separation totally adequately. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 15 '12 at 17:12
Yes I agree. I prefer open punctuation in most instances in any case and would simply remove the comma and not capitalise the next word. – spiceyokooko Dec 15 '12 at 17:30
@Edwin: Do you have a reference for your comment (especially the part about the comma being unnecessary)? The conventions for punctuating equations depend on the field of science. Math journals generally want you punctuate sentences including equations the same way you would in regular English, and so would wish you to include the comma. – Peter Shor Dec 15 '12 at 18:54

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