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I would like to understand how to refer to a given matrix in my English sentence.

The matrix, M, refers to model A.

or

M matrix refers to model A.

Which one is correct?

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The preferred phrasing is

The matrix M refers to model A

without commas, but with appropriate typesetting if possible. (Boldface upper case is common, but see also Matrix (mathematics) - Notation on Wikipedia).

  • In physics, in quantum field theory, the S-matrix is defined as the unitary matrix connecting sets of asymptotically free particle states in the Hilbert space of physical states. S is for 'scattering'. – Michael Harvey Feb 9 at 15:51
  • I would not say that is the preferred phrasing. It depends on what you're trying to express. If M is nonrestrictive information, then, contrarily, the use of paired commas (or parentheses or dashes) is not only the preferred phrasing but required in terms of matching syntax to semantics. What might be preferred is if you provide M as restrictive rather nonrestrictive. – Jason Bassford Feb 9 at 17:56

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