2

When writing math papers, one sometimes has to refer to some famous theorems, for instance, the Pythagorean theorem.

Shall I write "by Pythagorean theorem", or "by the Pythagorean theorem". When shall I use the article "the"?

  • I am not a mathematician, but did Pythagoras write any theorems other than the one about the square on the hypotenuse? If not, then my inclination would simply be to write re Pythagoras. – WS2 Sep 12 '15 at 23:43
  • 1
    The reference is to a unique theorem, so it should be definite: "by the Pythagorean theorem" or "by Pythagoras' theorem". It's like "the binomial theorem" or "the quadratic formula". – Greg Lee Sep 13 '15 at 7:52
2

This Google ngram shows what others have done in published books.

Google ngram: by Pythagoras ' theorem,by Pythagorean theorem,by the Pythagorean theorem

enter image description here

Notice that 'by Pythagorean theorem' has only one occurrence.

-1

"by Pythagorean Theorem"

For example, "I solved this equation using Pythagorean's Theorem," or, I solved expression 6 by using Pythagorean's Theorem."

I hope this helps!😁

  • I'm glad you want to participate, but "Pythagorean's Theorem" is not a valid construction. Maybe "a Pythagorean's Theorem" is theoretically possible, but not for this case. Anyway, people would be left wondering which Pythagorean. – Spencer Mar 31 '18 at 15:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.