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An arithmetic combination of numbers is any combination that involves taking a sum, difference, product, or quotient

I'm wondering if there is a word that satisfies:

A(n) ________ combination of numbers is any combination that involves taking a sum or difference.

  • I'm not sure if there is an exact word for this, and if there is, it's probably well known only to mathematicians. It's possible that factor is what you're looking for, but consider asking this on Math SE. – Mike Harris Oct 2 '17 at 15:17
  • I thought 'binary combination' was applied to any process involving a dual input. It could be as simple as 'output the larger' or 'output the first listed'. Or 'output the mean'. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 2 '17 at 15:17
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    @MikeHarris "Factor" only refers to multiplication, not addition or subtraction. – Hank Oct 2 '17 at 15:21
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    @MikeHarris read it as looking for a word to describe the "2 + 3" combination in "2 + 3 = 6". I saw what you linked but just because that "factor" uses addition doesn't mean all are factors. Those are factors because they are multiplied together. If we look at "10 * cow = 10cow", cow is a factor, but not all cows can be called factors. Using factor for describe what the OP wants is no more accurate than using number to describe it, no offense. – Hank Oct 2 '17 at 15:33
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    @Hank correct, good point. – Mike Harris Oct 2 '17 at 15:36
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For your exact wording, "additive (combination)" fits most closely. This said, however, a "sum" would likely best describe what you are referring to, as differences are simply additions of negative terms.

  • Yeah, it's a sum. – Hot Licks Oct 2 '17 at 16:29
  • Why not call it a "difference", since sums are simply subtractions of positive numbers? – Arm the good guys in America Oct 2 '17 at 17:53
  • It would be just as correct, but I don't think it sounds as good. – Austin Weaver Oct 2 '17 at 18:05
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    @Clare because the fundamental operation is adding; subtraction is the reverse operation. – Carl Witthoft Oct 2 '17 at 19:10
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    @Clare - Plus, addition is commutative, subtraction isn't. – Hot Licks Oct 2 '17 at 22:01

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