The relation (referring to f(x)=a*x+b) is needed to determine f in terms of argument/input x.

Is ' in terms of ' in this sentence correct in English thinking/narrative logic? I saw someone used it to stress the relation between output/dependent function and input/independent variable.

  • It’s not impossible a question about linear equation could have to do with English. It's not impossible to make sense of what you asked, but it's far more work than it should be. Could you change all the wording, please? For clarity, could you change it at least two ways? One never expects to express any idea. Is the relation (blah) needed to determine f in terms of anything or not, please? In your view, what differences are there among confirming in terms of usage or English thinking or narrative logic? Oct 10 '17 at 22:27
  • @RobbieGoodwin Yes, 'expect to express ideas' is so wrong in use. Oct 11 '17 at 10:03
  • You have made the question a lot worse by doing more than changing the word want. The verb is should have remained where it was, and the particular concern should have remained too (and even been enhanced to explain your particular problem with "in terms of"). As it stands, the question is simple proof-reading and off-topic.
    – Andrew Leach
    Oct 11 '17 at 10:44
  • @AndrewLeach, surely the fact that 'in terms of' is italicised points to that phrase being the main concern, making it on-topic? Oct 11 '17 at 11:05
  • @ArchContrarian No: please see "How do I ask about checking my text?" in the Help. A key part of not-proofreading is that the question must explain what the problem is thought to be.
    – Andrew Leach
    Oct 11 '17 at 11:06

The sentence

f(x)=ax+b is the relation needed to determine f in terms of argument/input x.

is grammatically OK, and comprehensible. However, in terms of is not the usual way of expressing the role of the 'x' in a formula, and relation is more associated with set theory than algebra. In terms of is more likely to be used with an abstract noun or a dimension of measurement: 'in terms of the macro-economy'; 'in terms of number theory'; 'in terms of voltage'. http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/in-terms-of-something

There are various ways to express the relationship between f,x, and ax+b, depending partly on the domain.

In mathematics, you might say, (http://www.columbia.edu/itc/sipa/math/variables.html)

The formula f(x)=ax+b determines the value of function f, for any value of the dependent variable x

, or replace "for any value of the dependent variable" with "for a given" ( (http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/any-a-given)

Another common way to say this is,

f is a function of x, such that f(x)=ax+b

If the formula appeared in a software specification, it might say:

Method f accepts parameter x and returns ax+b

[concerning the use of 'relation' and 'function': https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finitary_relation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Function_(mathematics) ]

  • Your answer quite solves my concern. Yes, I would like to know how I should express the relation between f and variable x. Oct 11 '17 at 11:39

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