I know that "modulo" is a preposition. However, I'd like to say something equivalent to, "We use each multiple of ten to modulo that digit of the number." In other words, I'd like to say "to take the remainder of by using the modulo operator" in a way that's grammatically correct but more terse, if possible.

  • Possible duplicate: english.stackexchange.com/questions/70018/…
    – user 66974
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 16:59
  • @user067531 I don't think that's a duplicate -- that question is asking about the usage as modulo as a preposition, but this question is a single word request for a verb. Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 17:15
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    Your example is less clear than I believe it should be; I'm not quite seeing what the result is. If you could provide an example of the operation your sentence describes, it might make it easier to discern your intent, and thus provide a more acceptable phrasing. Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 18:30

1 Answer 1


No, modulo is not commonly used as a verb.

However, in mathematical usage, the verb used to describe this action is to reduce modulo x (source).

There are a few ways to phrase this. The verb can be used transitively, where someone is performing the act of reduction on a number. Or it can be used intransitively, where the number itself it reducing.

We reduce 13 modulo 10 to get 3.

13 reduces to 3 modulo 10.

To re-work your sentence, I would write

We reduce the number modulo each power of ten to get the respective digits.

This phrasing is quite idiomatic, at least for mathematicians. It both uses modulo as a preposition and is fairly concise. However, it might be hard to understood for non-mathematical audiences. To avoid technical jargon, I might write

We divide the number by each power of ten, and use the remainders to get the respective digits.

  • Modulo is used as a verb, although most respected dictionaries do not list it as such. In math and computer programming, it's not at all uncommon to give examples of the mathematical operation by saying "13 modulo 5 is 3" or (abbreviating it verbally) "13 mod 5 is 3". Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 18:28
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    @JeffZeitlin I agree: you do see the usage "13 modulo 5 is 3", probably by analogy to "13 plus 5 is 3". This usage may appeal to computer scientists or programmers, who may be more familiar with the "modulo operator" than with more abstract modular arithmetic. However, even in this usage, modulo seems to act as a preposition. See english.stackexchange.com/questions/138182/… Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 20:24

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