Can you write "we denote that math symbol = definition of the symbol" in math essay?

I am writing an essay in mathematics. I need to define a symbol by a math formula.

E.g., when symbol X is defined as Y + Z, can you write the following sentence there?

  • We denote that X = Y + Z.

If you can not, what is the correct expression to define a symbol with math formula?

  • Did you look up the definition of denote? It doesn't fit, because it means something like "represents" or "is a symbol of", and you certainly don't mean "We are a symbol of X = Y + Z".
    – stangdon
    Aug 2 at 20:54
  • 1
    Please use your actual symbols and your actual formula, as much as possible. Is the formula really just Y+Z? Also since you know the word "define", please explain why you don't want to use "We define X=Y+Z". Also, who are "We"?
    – James K
    Aug 2 at 21:37
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    @JamesK - "we" and 'denote' are common in formal mathematics texts. If supA ∈ A, then we also denote it by maxA and call it the maximum of A, and if inf A ∈ A, then we also denote it by minA and call it the minimum of A. Aug 2 at 21:49
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    I think that the easiest way to write this is with "let", e.g.: "Let X = Y + Z." Aug 2 at 23:45

1 Answer 1


Yes you can.

  1. The first time you refer to a mathematical description, maximise your use of simple English words and then "translate them" into full mathematical symbology in brackets.


In this context, "X" represents "Y plus Z" (X = Y + Z).

Note: use the quotation marks and the bracketed expression.

  1. From then onwards, simply use their full mathematical symbology for brevity and clarity.


Hence, when X = Y + Z, then... (etc)

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