Is there a name for this format - 5:number :: k: ? ? The question mark in the above poses a question. The answer is supposed to be found out by looking the relation of previous pair. In this case answer would be a letter.

Is there a name for this construction, if any?

  • I am interested in both formal and informal terminology if there is any.
    – user411181
    Jan 12, 2021 at 5:20
  • Technically, I think 5 is to numeral as k is to blank. Sep 6, 2023 at 15:36

1 Answer 1


They were called analogy questions back when they were use on the SAT. My friends and I referred to them as is-to-as questions based on their verbal construction (the question would be read "five is to number as k is to blank")

  • 1
    The eminent philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell co-wrote Principia Mathematica with AN Whitehead. He was estimated to have an IQ of 200. Once, for research purposes, he was invited to take an IQ test which included questions about relations of shapes. He scored dismally (the test was timed). It was found that he was verbalising the questions, e.g. "a circle in a black triangle is to a diamond in a white circle, as an ellipse in a grey rectangle is to...". He got them all right, as you might expect, but not quickly enough for the designers of the test. Jan 12, 2021 at 9:40

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