# “symmetrical to” or “symmetric to”

This is strongly related to Usage of "symmetrical" and "symmetric" but with a slightly different flavor and not answered within that question.

If I wish to indicate that X is the reflection of Y do I say "X is symmetrical to Y" or "X is symmetric to Y"? The context is mathematical, yes.

Google finds about five times as many occurrences of "symmetrical to" but that, of course, proves nothing.

• What makes you think one of those is right and one of them wrong? – tchrist Dec 28 '16 at 16:29
• Both forms do in fact occur relatively frequently, but note that (a) - with has always been more likely than to, and (b) - the shorter form symmetric has come to dominate in recent decades. – FumbleFingers Dec 28 '16 at 16:32
• @tchrist I do not think one of them is wrong but I'm pretty sure one of them is preferable to the other =) – imakhlin Dec 28 '16 at 16:33
• @FumbleFingers Could you please elaborate? Google says: "is symmetrical to point" -- 20600 results, "is symmetric to point" -- 8,930 results, "is symmetrical with point" -- 4, "is symmetric with point" -- 6. Once again, I understand that this doesn't prove a thing but it does seem very odd in view of your claims. – imakhlin Dec 28 '16 at 16:41
• The first point to note is that symmetric and symmetrical are effectively synonyms for most purposes (but as answers to the earlier indicate, the former has recently become far more common in technical contexts). But when considering a specific context such as yours, I personally wouldn't be likely to use either version in respect of a single ""point". I might perhaps say Shape A is symmetric with Shape B, but then I'd say Point X on A corresponds to Point Y on B. That's to say I normally think of symmetry as applying to complete (""reversible") shapes, not points. – FumbleFingers Dec 28 '16 at 16:59