In an equation 7 - 3 = 4, the 7 is called minuend and the 3 is called subtrahend.

Then what are the appropriate terms for the 7, 3, 1 in 7 ≡ 1 (mod 3)?

  • 4
    Minuend and subtrahend are very old-fashioned terms. I never had to learn them, even 50 years ago. I would just call them arguments. You might get a more informed opinion at Mathematics.SE.
    – Mick
    Nov 3, 2016 at 12:50
  • 1
    @Mick I don't consider them old-fashioned; they are instead domain-specific. I learned them at some point in my mathematical education. There's not a lot of call for them outside of a math context, so most people probably forget about them about 30 seconds after learning them.
    – Hellion
    Nov 3, 2016 at 14:01
  • @Hellion: I'm no mathematician, but I'd be pretty certain the number of people writing in English about such things has increased over the past half-century. During which period the prevalence of both these terms has apparently gone down by about 75%, so I think what Mick says is right - they're going out of fashion. Nov 3, 2016 at 14:43
  • @Hellion I suppose it depends on what education system you went through. In the UK state system, numerator, denominator, product and divisor was about as far as it went. I did go on to study maths at degree level.
    – Mick
    Nov 3, 2016 at 14:58

1 Answer 1


In your example, 7 is the


and 3 is the



  • To take things one step further, the modulo operation can be defined in terms of integer division. In that case, 3 is the divisor, 7 is the dividend, 2 is the quotient, and 1 is the remainder. The statement "7 is congruent to 1, modulo 3" means that the divisors 7 and 1 have the same remainder (1, obviously) when the divisor is 3. Nov 3, 2016 at 16:04

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