This tag is for questions about the usage and meaning of mathematical terminology and the names for mathematical entities in English.

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2
votes
3answers
569 views

How to pronounce “×” in “12 × 3 mm²”?

I have this expression: 12 × 3 mm². I guess that it should not be pronounced as "twelve multiplied by three millimeters squared". I've tried to google it already but it seemed to be difficult ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Is 'times it by' or 'minus it by' correct?

I'm always hearing math instructors, and students, use ‘times it by’ to describe multiplicative operations: “…To find the ratio, you times it by one hundred…” To hear other students phrasing ...
4
votes
1answer
60 views

Word for equivalence preserving transformations of equations

I am searching for a mathematical term describing an algebraic manipulation of an equation which preserves equivalence. So while adding 2 to both sides of an equation results in an equivalent equation,...
1
vote
3answers
57 views

What do you call a pair of diagonally-opposite points on a square or rectangle, relative to the other pair of points?

Suppose there is a rectangle with corners N,E,S,W, names assigned in a clockwise fashion, as you might expect. N and S are diametrically opposite, as are E and W. Is there a term that describes ...
0
votes
2answers
184 views

Which alternative is best English?

Are there any specific rules in English about how to refer to something that was introduced in the previous sentence? For example, compare these three sentences: Let X and Y be random variables ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

List of inverted letters and their applications

Upside-down letters, as in ∀, and left-side-right letters, as in ∃, are used in mathematics and logic to indicate for all and there exists. Do you know other examples of such inversions ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

Which verb to use with “The variable [verb] a value”?

Consider the mathematical expression x=5. What would be the correct sentence? The variable x is the value 5. The variable x has the value 5. The variable x takes the value 5. [Slightly ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Can anyone advise on a guide to the usage of “enote”?

I am looking to use "enote" in a mathematical description where the symbol occurs before the concept, and denote seems inappropriate. (I suppose with rewriting this can be overcome, but that's a ...
3
votes
5answers
6k views

Is it correct to say “times” in this context?

Consider the following: Math teacher: "How can we turn 42 into 420 through multiplication?" Student: "You times it by ten!" Is this usage of times correct? I hear it so often that I suspect ...
18
votes
8answers
18k views

Does “either A or B ” preclude “both A and B”?

In mathematics, "A or B" includes "A and B". Does "either" mean "A or B but not (A and B)" or does it include the possibility of "A and B"? The context might be mathematics, formal logic or ordinary ...
22
votes
4answers
28k views

How to read exponential expressions, e.g., “2^16”?

How do you say the mathematical function in English: x^y (or xy) For example, how do you say 2^16 (or 216) I know ^ means 'power' or 'exponentiate', but that is the name of the operation,...
1
vote
3answers
92 views

Word for when set A is not a subset or superset of set B [closed]

I'm looking for a word to describe the relationship between two sets when set A is neither a subset nor superset of set B. Obviously if a technical term exists, great. Otherwise, imagine someone has ...
0
votes
2answers
32 views

Is it a correct word about mathematical problems

Is the following word correct? Question) x = 3y, y = 4t Considering the equations above, represent x with respect to t. Answer) x = 12t Is the bold sentence correct?
1
vote
2answers
66 views

Words describing constancy

Using only a single word in each case, I'm attempting to describe two different variations involving constancy of a certain attribute: Variation of an object without changing its weight. Variation ...
6
votes
4answers
264 views

What's the word for the small square indicating a right angle in a geometric figure?

I'm talking about something in geometry notation and/or drafting, I think. It's the mini right-angle shape you can draw within an angle to indicate that it's ninety degrees. E.g., the mark denoting ...
1
vote
0answers
26 views

Is “more-point function” correct? (mathematics)

How do I describe in English (i.e. without mathematical symbols) the following mathematical object, if I want to stress comparison with the two-point function? The n-point Green's function for n>...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

Is 'sum' an okay replacement for 'problem'?

I've seen some people using the word sum as a substitute for the word problem, in a mathematical context even though the problem does not explicitly involve the addition operation. For example, We ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

Apostrophe for plurals with mathematical notation [duplicate]

I am a mathematics student. I sometimes see professors write something like the following (both in class as well as in formal publications). Let a1, a2, ..., an be natural numbers. Assume that all ...
1
vote
2answers
53 views

How to express the fact that clauses in a compound logical statement are connected by “AND”?

Say, I have three independent logical clauses, a, b, and c, and they are connected into one logical statement (a∧b∧c). How do I express this succinctly? Can I say, "a, b, and c are connected ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

How do you read powers and roots?

I'm wondering how do you read the following expressions. I have some guesses but I'd like someone to confirm whether my guesses are right and if there are other ways to read those numbers other than ...
2
votes
4answers
50 views

An adjective for something which satsifies given conditions

I'm looking for a single-word adjective which means 'satisfies the given conditions'. For example, the condition might be, "Your number must be less than 10." Here the number 2 would be a _____ number....
6
votes
3answers
8k views

“integer multiple” vs. “integral multiple”

Nine is an integer multiple of three. Nine is an integral multiple of three. Which is more common? If both are accepted, what's the subtle difference between them?
5
votes
5answers
573 views

Why is the common meaning of logical terms ('and', 'or') incongruous from that in math?

If someone wrote that they want "nuts and bolts", they would get a bunch of hardware they could attach things with. If this was software or math, they would only receive nothing, because things are (...
0
votes
2answers
46 views

“Under the condition that” within the realm of probaility [closed]

SO, I have a math question, kind of at least, where I think the wording is getting in the way. Determine the probability that First condition under the condition that Second condition. I ...
2
votes
6answers
2k views

What do you call nested circles that are not concentric?

The circles in the image don't have the same center, so they are not concentric. Is there a word to describe circles that overlap (completely or not) so that enclosed circles are smaller than the ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Word For the Process of Finding Return on Investment

I am told that if I invest $20 in this Apple Stock, in one years time there is a: 10% chance I'll get back $25 10% chance I'll get back $20 30% chance I'll get back $15 50% chance I'll get back $10 ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

Rankings out of integer and a half?

When giving items a score its not uncommon to restrict values to make scoring easier. For example: I can give a movie a score out of 5 stars using only integers, i.e. 0,1,2,3,4,5. Or I can give a ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Using “of” before “whether” and general usage of “whether”

I was reading a mathematics text, and I came across a phrase which I thought was written incorrectly. There was a part of a sentence: ... it begs the question whether or not A=B. and I feel this ...
0
votes
1answer
85 views

Inequality vs. Inequation, Equation vs. Equality

When talking about statements that two terms are mathematically (un-)equal (e.g., 1 = 1, 1 < 2, or 1 != 2), what is the correct notion for such mathematical statements? Are there special cases w.r....
3
votes
2answers
192 views

Does “unioned” exist in the context of math?

In mathematics, if you have the sets A and B, you can build a new set C which is the union of A and B. I would like to say, something like Set C consists of the unioned sets A and B. but the ...
83
votes
27answers
8k views

How to read “E = (mc)²” so as not to mistake for “E = mc²”

According to one of the questions already asked on EL&U, “E = mc²” is read as E equals M C squared. How do we read “E = (mc)²” so that it is not mistaken for “E = mc²”?
3
votes
9answers
207 views

Word for “having horizontal and vertical directions” that a mathematician can use

As the title says, I'm looking for a word that means "having horizontal and vertical directions." The catch is that I'm a mathematician trying to describe notions similar to "horizontality" and "...
2
votes
1answer
317 views

Definite article in Maths: “(the) function f”

Is the definite article correct/necessary in sentences like the following? A line that intersects (the) circle C. We can see that (the) function f has a maximum at x=0. Draw a line past (the) edge E. ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Does rational come from ratio or ratio come from rational?

Going through law school we often used the latin phrase ratio decideni - meaning the reasoning of a decision. In this context we took the latin word ratio to mean thinking process. Recently I saw an ...
2
votes
2answers
76 views

Quarter Asteroidal Hypocycloid, in Layman's Terms

Take a gander at the hypocycloid. You may recognize the shape from the logo of an American football team... My question is, how do you describe the tip of one such shape in common parlance (in ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

“Total” relates to “sum” as X relates to “product”

In algebra, there is (as I see it) a subtle difference between “sum” and “total”: a sum is a term consisting of several summands that are added up,e.g., “5+5”, whereas the total is the result of this ...
114
votes
3answers
15k views

Why does “quadratic” describe second power when “quad” means “four”?

In mathematics, quadratic means "involving the second and no higher power of an unknown quantity or variable". But the prefix quad- usually describes something that has to do with four, such as quad-...
12
votes
4answers
8k views

How can I form a word like “quadruple” for any number I want?

I'm not sure what these are called, but how can I form a word like "quadruple" for any number I want? Like 5× as much is quintuple, what is 31× as much or 147× as much? I want to know how they are ...
1
vote
5answers
94 views

How can I describe the intersection between a circle and a curve?

I have a curve C and a point x in the curve. At the point x, I draw a circle B with radius r and centered at point x. That circle B will cut/intersection (with) the curve C as red sub-curve line. I ...
5
votes
5answers
508 views

Word to describe a mathematical variable that repeats, like an angle or time

In mathematics a variable can be said to be constrained if it must lie within certain bounds, for example: 0 < x < 1 (the variable x is constrained: it lies between zero and one) However ...
4
votes
2answers
338 views

Why do we hyphenate between numbers? Example: twenty-six

I have found many places that list the various rules on using hyphens in math, but nothing to explain why we have the rule. I have some students who are asking and I would like to be able to give ...
2
votes
1answer
128 views

How did 'up to' evolve to mean 'regardless of', in maths?

Even the OED seems not to have featured it. I couldn't find an explanation on Etymonline. [Wikipedia:] If X is some property or process, the phrase "up to X" means "disregarding a possible ...
0
votes
2answers
79 views

Statistician's word for a distribution curve tailing less steeply to left or right

I know the word normal distribution. But what does a statistician call it when the curve of the distribution tails less steeply (ie falls more gradually) to the left or right?
134
votes
12answers
16k views

What do you call a disk with a hole in the middle?

Compact Discs, washers and Aerobie frisbees are all disks with a hole in the middle. Is there a word (either mathematical or not) to describe this shape? I mean the specific case of a round hole in a ...
0
votes
2answers
49 views

do you use “ The” with mathematical methods?

For intra-cluster relationships, we applied mathematical optimisation to choose the best tree produced by neighbour joining method. Or For intra-cluster relationships, we applied ...
24
votes
5answers
4k views

How is a' in mathematics pronounced?

It often happens that two or more similar values are distinguished with the ' symbol, e.g. a, a', a'' and similar. How is this pronounced?
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Word for “1 of 3” [closed]

Is there a word (or two) for "N of M" form? Example: "2nd" is an ordinal number "5 November 1605" is a date "3 of 5" is a ...? Thanks!
1
vote
2answers
71 views

what is the preposition equivalent to “divided by” [duplicate]

"times" is the preposition equivalent to "multiplied by". what is the preposition equivalent to "divided by"?
2
votes
3answers
103 views

How to name the diagonals of a square so one can be told from the other?

A square has two diagonals, so how can I to name the separate diagonals if I want to distinguish one from another? I mean something like the up to down diagonal and the down to up diagonal. Do you ...
68
votes
8answers
9k views

Is -1 singular or plural?

Do we say "-1 thing" or "-1 things"? I am interested in both two things minus one thing(s) and minus/negative one thing(s)