# Questions tagged [mathematics]

This tag is for questions about the usage and meaning of mathematical terminology and the names for mathematical entities in English.

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### Is 'where' accurate here, or is 'with' accurate? [closed]

I wrote in my manuscript: 'Let f be a k-face of D where \$k \ge 4\$.' However, I feel that replacing 'where' with 'with' might be more appropriate. I'm a bit uncertain, so I'm posing this question. Can ...
57 views

### Modulo / Modulus - how to use them?

In mathematics there is the concept of modulo roughly the remainer of an integer division, e.g. mod(9,2) gives 1, since taking as many 2 out of 9 as possible, 1 is left. However, I also come across ...
936 views

### What is the difference between “To every action” and “For every action”?

Here are two statements: The first statement is: To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. The second statement is: For every action there is always an equal and opposite ...
51 views

### Word for terminology related to mathematical premises

I have seen some mathematical texts that use words like Lemma, Theorem, Corollary, etc. What would be the appropriate description of such terms? Do they fall under some linguistic category? Is ...
95 views

### Who coined "times tables" and when?

I've always thought "times tables" to refer to multiplication tables was a British thing, but Wikipedia suggests it might be common in the US, too. Is anything known about when the term was ...
4k views

### The usage of "can not" vs. "cannot" in mathematics

I saw the following passage in Professor West's homepage, and I hadn't noticed this point before. See https://dwest.web.illinois.edu/grammar.html#cannot "Can not" and "may be". ...
82 views

### Names of some fractions

Which are the names of fractions like 1/3, 2/3, 4/3, which are now in disuse or render obsolete. I saw a bit of time ago, a book that mentioned the names associated to those fractions (instead of the ...
1 vote
125 views

### Can one say "take an integral" instead of "calculate an integral"? What other options are there?

Russians often use the formulation "take an integral". Now I noticed it in an article, written by a Russian and I can't recall I have ever encountered it in English. Is it a possible ...
1k views

### Words for diagonal directions

I'm a mathematician currently working on a problem involving splitting a square into two triangles, either by a line connecting top-left and bottom-right, or top-right and bottom left. I'm trying to ...
1 vote
238 views

### Why represent percentages with "pc" rather than "%"?

I've seen more and more well respected publications expressing percentages using the abbreviation "pc". E.g. Telegraph: How else to explain the decision to award a board seat to the boss of ...
90 views

### Adjective for the shape of a spiral?

In English, the adjective circular is used for a circle, and the adjective elliptical for an ellipse. Similarly, the adjective helical is used for a helix, but a helix is 3-dimensional. What is the ...
223 views

### 0.5 of the pizza, 0.5 of the class

Suppose that there is a pizza. 1/2 of the pizza means a half of the pizza. Does English use/allow the expression 0.5 of the pizza? Suppose that a class has 10 students. 1/2 of the class means 5 ...
52 views

### Indefinite article before the multiplication product: ‘a ten of twos is a twenty' or '‘a ten of twos is twenty"

For an article intended for linguists only, I have to unidiomatically translate oral multiplication tables from a South Asian language to reflect the original morphology, and while doing so a question ...
101 views

### How do you read math operations with parenthesis? [duplicate]

I don't know how to read math operations with (){}[] in English. 2(3x^2+1)-6 If you read this, do you say "two parenthesis three x squared plus one minus six" "two parenthesis three x ...
5k views

In mathematics, powers of 2 and 3 are often referred to using "square" and "cube" terminology: a "number squared/cubed", the "square/cube root of a number". ...
88 views

### Possessive Contraction over Equations and Mathematical/Physics Laws

In my mother language, Spanish, when we refer to a famous equation, say those for electromagnetism, we say "Ecuaciones de Maxwell". This translates, literally, as "Equations of Maxwell&...
6k views

### Is there a non-technical word in English that means "to add one"?

As a computer scientist, I ran into trouble recently with a piece of my game writing for a general audience, which had a few phrases like this: For magic, each boost increments quantity. The ...
92 views

### "Four times a certain number decreased by one", 4(x-1) or 4x-1?

How does the English grammar precedence work if this is the case? Are both variation equally valid? My initial assumption is that the right answer should be "4(x-1)", and if the sentence had ...
1k views

### "Sketching" a graph

While this is in the context of a math problem, the question refers to the connotations and meaning of the word "sketch", so I imagine it fits this site, at least somewhat. If one asks ...
81 views

### Who is Augustus De Morgan's "New Zealander"?

Augustus De Morgan's A Budget of Paradoxes (1863–1867) contains several references to an apocryphal "New Zealander," without explanation. What's the in-joke here? I grok from context that ...
58 views

(Note. I deleted the previous question as the discussion was focusing too much on the math.) I am writing a research paper in mathematical analysis and I have a situation in which I want to give a ...
288 views

### What words are used to describe the journey of a line on a graph? [closed]

I am looking for words that describe the lines on graphs, or that are used during the journey of a graph line. For example, Nadir is the lowest point but are there words for the following: A. The most ...
75 views

### Term for a function whose derivative is decreasing

A "decreasing function" is one that gets smaller as its input gets larger. For example, f(x) = -x, f(x) = 1/x {x > 0}. What can functions like sqrt(x), ln(x) be called? They are always ...
75 views

### Verb for "swapping" non-commuting operations and modifying them appropriately (commute?)

In mathematics, computer science, physics or any other field that has the concept of commutative operations (or operators), is there a verb to describe the action of taking a sequence AB of two non-...
50 views

### Use of "the" for math variables

It seems clear to me that this is correct: Let positive real numbers a,b,c satisfy abc<1. Find ... (No "the" before "positive".) Should "The" be used here? [The] ...
1 vote
67 views

### Math Drills and Times Tables in British English

I'm working on an educational mobile app/game for kids to practice basic arithmetic skills like multiplication, addition, etc. I'm more familiar with the US market and now I struggle with proper and ...
75 views

### How to say "we put something under a square root"?

I would like to say that "we put something under a square root" in a math formula. For example my sentence is The reason for putting the original distances under square root is discussed ...
77 views

### When mentioning several items each of which is “Aᵢ”, should I use “Aᵢ’s” with an apostrophe or “Aᵢs” without one?

Here is a sentence I’m about to write: Given a family of sets { Aᵢ : 1 ≤ i ≤ n }, we may assume that the Aᵢ’s are disjoint. I mean the sets in the family do not intersect with each other. I am ...
3k views

### What's the best way of being clear that a dash ("–") is being used as subtraction in a written message? [closed]

When writing technical emails, it's quite common for me to need to include simple mathematical formulas. I find it hard to clearly include subtractions because dashes are so commonly used as generic ...
111 views

### Is there a word stronger than "promote" but weaker than "enforce" in a technical context? Maybe "force"?

Context: Scientific paper targeting at computer scientists, engineers and mathematicians I am searching for a word similar to "promote", "push", "force", "enforce&...
1 vote
96 views

### Is the sentence "For every integer 3<k<15 " written correctly?

In my mathematics paper, I wrote： For 3<k<15, ... . I later discovered that k needs to be emphasised as an integer. So I wrote this: For every integer 3<k<15, ... . I'm not sure if above ...
499 views

### Is there a word that is specific to a number being divisible specifically by 5?

I'm searching for a word that would indicate an attraction to — or consistent use of — numbers that are divisible by "5". Example: Tom always bets on numbers ending in 5 or 0 because he is ...
348 views

### What is the difference between Vert/Verts and Vertex/Vertices? [closed]

What is the difference between Vert/Verts and Vertex/Vertices? Both forms seem to be used interchangeably in mathematics and computer graphics. Blender (3D software) uses Vert/Verts in it's User ...
94 views

### Usage of the phrase "to which" in this mathematical explanation

I'm sure I am overthinking this, but I wanted to understand this explanation better (and in turn, be able to explain it to students better). Observe the following explanation of a function in ...
38 views

### Terms for aerial versus ground surface area

Are there accepted area terms that concisely distinguish aerial area (e.g., from a Google Earth satellite photo) from ground surface area? (For sloped ground, the ground surface area is larger than ...
119 views

### What is the word to describe a variable whose value does not relate to any absolute unit of measure?

What the title says. I know there's a word but can't remember it. To explain in more detail, I'm trying to state that while the variable is quantitative, the quantity is not referring to an ...
1 vote
118 views

### Articles before names of theorems

there was a similar question but sometimes you cite theorems just by of authors, e.g. you don't say by the Hopkins-Levitzky theorem we conclude but you just say it follows from Hopkins-Levitzky. and ...
39 views

### How to use commas in these particular situations [closed]

I am a mathematicians, and there are some "sentence structures" that constantly appear in my work. I have some doubt about how "commas" behave in them. I am well aware of the comma ...
201 views

### What is an antonym for 'one-to-one'?

I am writing a perspective for a general medical science audience. The following adapted figure will be included in the publication: The figure title appearing in the legend includes the following ...
245 views

### Proper use of articles in mathematical expressions

I am having trouble using articles correctly, especially in mathematical expressions. I made two sentences: Consider the family C of subsets of a set X. Consider a family D of subsets of a set X. It ...
65 views

### When defining the median for an odd number of measurements, should we use [(n+1)/2]th or [(n+1)/2]nd?

When defining the median for an odd number of measurements, should we use [(n+1)/2]th or [(n+1)/2]nd? I am aware of a related question but I am nor sure if having the number 2 in the denominator ...
446 views

### How to read the mathematical expression “xʸ”(or “x^y”) in English, which x and y are any of the complex numbers or algebraic expressions? [duplicate]

For example, x=1, y=2, it is 1², how to read the expression?
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### What is an unambiguous expression for 3 3 3 3 3? [closed]

In some country there is a unit for countable quantity. 3 3 3 3 3 For example, they say "5 count-unit of 3". But in English we just say "five threes". But then 3 3 3 3 3 and 5 3 ...
128 views

### Is there a term for numbers like 0.5, 9.15, 4.22? [duplicate]

I know that in some country, there is a term for numbers like 0.5, 9.15, 4.22 I mean number with dot(.) in its expression. I sought for the term in English. It was Decimal Number But the term "...
78 views

### Usage of English articles with mathematical equalities

I was curious about how English articles work with cases such as: For all of the simulations, the B = 15 mT, the f = 10 kHz. The B and f are of course defined earlier in the text and are used in the ...
1 vote
89 views

### Name for the argument of the mathematical absolute-value function

Some arguments of common mathematical functions have names, like addend, minuend, subtrahend, dividend, divisor, numerator, denominator, and radicand. A colleague recently asked me: does the argument ...
82 views

### How do you pronounce "over the complexes"?

Is there an agreed-upon way to say "complexes" in the sense of "the set of complex numbers" (as in "solve over the complexes")? Do we keep the stress on the first ...
885 views

### Use of "hence" in mathematical English

In math, particularly in plane geometry, there are lots of simple statements that one implies another, and that implies another, and so on. So, "hence" is frequently used. For example, let's ... 