# Questions tagged [mathematics]

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

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### What is the file of a cube?

In Wikipedia 3D-Chess, it is written: A rook moves through the six faces of a cube in any rank, file, or column I understand what is a column for a cube. I also deduce that a rank is somewhat a ...
15 views

### How to properly describe the problem statement?

We are given a set of 4 numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4]. If I want to write (1, 2), (2, 3), (3, 4), I would say: write every two consecutive elements in the set. But if I want to write (1, 2), (3, 4), how ...
34 views

### What does 'A=B to within 20%' mean? Does this mean |A-B|/B = 20%?

I am not clear about "within". What is the relationship between A and B?
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### Should the name of a lowercase Greek letter in a proper name also be capitalized when the lower case is important?

Continuing Should the name of a capital Greek letter also be capitalized when the upper case is important? with the answer https://ell.stackexchange.com/a/109096/37810, which did emphasize the ...
69 views

### How to read some maths expression in English?

Hi there! I am learning English and I wonder how to read this maths expression in English.
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### The most proper description of mathematical increment

Assume that we have a function f(x) = 3x + 1, and I want to explain what actually derivative is. For this purpose, I constructed following sentence: If you increment the value of variable x by 1, ...
111 views

### Defining a ball in mathematics

Which are appropriate phrases to define a ball? Let \$B\$ be the open ball of radius \$r\$ centered at \$x\$. Let \$B\$ be the open ball of radius \$r\$ around \$x\$. Let \$B\$ be the open ball of radius \$r\$ about ...
822 views

### “1 + 1 should equal 2” or “1 + 1 should equal to 2”; which one is correct?

Which of the following is correct? 1 + 1 should equal 2. 1 + 1 should equal to 2. "equal" or "equal to"?
43 views

### Using the verb “write” instead of “denote”

Mathematicians often use the phrase "Denote the object X by the symbol Y". For example, I usually denote the set of numbers 1,2,3,4... by the boldface letter N. However a friend of mine uses a ...
272 views

### Lowercase/capital Greek letters written in English

Consider two examples: Gamma function written as Γ(n); gamma-butyrolactone written as γ-butyrolactone. Is there a rule which says how the lowercase and capital Greek letters must be reflected when ...
55 views

### Using none for three or more nos. in mathematics

Which form is correct? None of A,B or C divides X or None of A,B and C divides X
6k views

### The word “times” instead of “multiplied by”

A shorthand English word for 3 multiplied by 4 is: 3 times 4 I am aware that this comes from spoken language as in "we have 3 four times", a version I know from my native language as well. I would ...
19 views

### Can “among” mean “for” in a mathematical context?

Suppose the following self made example in the mathematics context: The slop is identical for all the cases of n = 1,2,3, ... , 10. Can I reword this as The slop is identical among all the ...
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### Given “A implies B”, is “B implies A” “the other hand” or “the other side”?

I asked a question just now, where x = 2 → x² = 4 is true where "→" means "implies", x = 2 "implies" x² = 4, on the other hand, x² = 4 does not "imply" x = 2 in general, where the ...
43 views

### How do I describe a rotation of a triangle in natural language clearly and concisely?

I am asking for a formula for the rotation of a triangle in this post I am concerned about if I describe the question clearly and concisely, by saying which formula could be used to get the x ...
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### Doubt on the construction of a sentence

I am writing a document with some mathematics and I need help with the construction of a sentence. Is it correct to write "the function f measures the failure of the space M to be smooth"? I am not ...
27 views

### Which one is more grammatical, “5 of them are 0” or “5 of them are 0s”?

this question comes from this post. In this specific case, the Σ contains six given values, and 5 of them are 0 in this context, which one is more grammatical, "5 of them are 0" or "5 of them ...
243 views

157 views

### What does “from 30% off” mean?

"Shop everything you need for fashion - from 30% off" This is a banner. Does "from 30% off" mean the discount rate starts from 30%? Or does this mean "products from 30% off", which means products ...
64 views

### Correct way to refer to solve an equation

I am a mathematician and I have a question about how to say correctly in English the next preceding: Let x=(...)(,,,) If we clear away the first parenthesis we get: (...)=x/(,,,,) The “clear ...
303 views

### How square is a square

I've recently heard the follwing sentence in a text for children learning English: The blackboard is square. It got translated to the German equivalent of “the blackboard is quadrilateral”. The ...
117 views

### What is the word for interior with a circle

I'd like to know what is the word to describe the entire interior within a circle. Circle is for the boundary only and does not include the interior of it.
54 views

### Is 'vertex' the correct term for peak (and valley) point on a curve?

This is about mathematical terminology in English. A simple curving line can have a top peak and a bottom valley. What is the correct term to use for the top/bottom point? In my native tongue, we ...
235 views

### Minus and plus a specific temperature degree (weather)

When we are going to say the weather temperature is below 0 degrees we use X degrees below zero or minus X degrees, but what about the contrary case? For instance we would probably say something ...
53 views

### Two to the three or two to the third?

I wonder if we can say "two to the three" to indicate 2 to the 3rd power. Here are my attempts to search on Google for it: And "two to the third" seems also OK: Which one do you usually use?
33 views

### What's the word for a new symbol, or usage of a new symbol?

Neologism is defined as: a new word, expression, or usage. In mathematics, there are new symbols created every year, and new usages for those symbols. Is there a word for a new symbol or usage, like ...
24 views

### “What is the probability both houses will be completed after 7 weeks?” meaning

When the question asks if the houses will be completed "after 7 weeks", someone says; it isn't asking if it will take greater than 7 weeks to complete the houses. "After 7 weeks" means "as soon as ...
29 views

### Usage of “it is” in formal, mathematical language

I have come across a scientific paper written by non-native speakers where some mathematical formulas are introduced by "it is". For example: Proof of Theorem X. Assume xyz. [Long mathematical ...
33 views

### “the matrix, M” Vs “M matrix”

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?
14k views

### What is a third of a circle or a third of a plane called?

There is a word for a quarter of a circle or a plane: "quadrant". What is the corresponding word for a third of a circle? "tridrant" or "terdrant" or something different?
2k views

### Negative numbers: “minus” or “negative”?

I noticed that when negative number are used in speech, there are two dominant patterns. Taking "-10" as an example, in some cases it is pronounced "negative ten", while in others it is "minus ten". ...
1k views

### Can “multiply” be a noun?

Can Multiply be used as noun, such as in "matrix multiply"? I heard of this from some Americans. Or should it be "matrix multiplication" instead?
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### Right preposition for: Evaluation of a function at 0 “in/at” its first argument [closed]

Consider a function f(x,y) defined on X x Y. One says that f(0,y) is the evaluation of f at 0 ... ... in its first argument ...at its first argument (none of these) My problem using searching ...
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### 40 percent of X's Y: Is the percentage about X or Y?

Some 40 percent of people's "first memory" happened at an age when it wasn't possible to create memories. Source Context shows the percentage is about the people. The word memory, being singular, ...
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### Confusion between “where” and “with”

When I am reading some articles related to engineering or mathematics, I see many times the usage of "where" and "with" interchangeably. For example, f is the utility function mapping from S to R, ...
21 views

### looking for an alternative verb: computing the ratio of A and B

Maybe this is the native German speaker in me, but I am looking for an alternative verb to use, when I want to write: We compute the ratio of A and B. I am not happy with the verbs to compute/to ...
24 views

### Word for a value incremented by certain amount?

When we take a number and multiply it by 10 we get a value ten times the original. Then, what do we call the result of adding 10 to a previous value? i.e., what can I put in place of the ellipsis in ...
52 views

### “The statement is witnessed”

The derivability of a given statement can be justified by exhibiting a derivation tree [...] For example, if [ some definitions ] then the derivability of the statement if t then false else ...
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### In math, how to express the tangent contact with the function

In math, I want to say that there is no possibility that an asymptote will be a tangent to the function. How should I write it?
2k views

### What is a non-prime number greater than 1 called in English?

I know that this a math question, but as it is really a very basic math concept I think any English user would know it, and it must be more related to English than knowing the math. We call a number ...
7k views

### Is there a short form of “greater than or equal to” (≥)

From this question I know that when mixing "greater than" (>) and "equal to" (=) the correct expression to say is "greater than or equal to"(>=). However, I remember that my math teacher, when writing ...
597 views

### “bounded from above” vs. “bounded above”

For unary functions f,g:X→Y, where X is any set and (Y,≤) is a poset, when you rephrase ∀ x∈X: f(x) ≤ g(x) in prose, do you write "f is bounded above by g" or "f is bounded from above by g" or "f is ...
7k views

### How to read this formula aloud: “f(x) = x²”?

f(x) = x2 Having heard this read only in Korean, I don’t know how to read it in English. What is the right English reading?
744 views

### Arithmetic expressions: singular or plural?

Five and two make/makes seven. Five times two is/are ten. Five minus two leave/leaves three. Which ones are correct? Could someone explain the logic behind them?
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### How to describe a sample of one person?

Statistically, how to describe a theory making from one's own experience and haven't been tested by others? A sample of one? A one-person sample? Googling both phrases doesn't yield any meaningful ...
50 views

### Possessive case in 'Jacobi identity'

I am not sure this is the right place to ask, but I give it a try anyway. I am reading a book about how to write math. At some point the author shows the grammar rule for the possessive case: e.g. ...
467 views

### Plural of a mathematical variable

How should I write the plural of a mathematical variable? E.g., in these sentences: The values of f(ui|uj) are independent for different [uj/ujs/uj's]. The values of f(ui|uj) are independent for ...
480 views

### Hyphens after Abbreviations and Foreign Letters

Are hyphens used correctly in the examples below? In other words, is there a rule in English that either requires or allows these hyphenations. In my area of research, there is what is called the ...