66 votes

Why don't we use articles for variables in math problems?

In math and computer programing, variables and constants (such as x and t in your examples) are treated like proper nouns (like names of people or places) rather than common nouns (names of a type of ...
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  • 643
61 votes

How do I say “±” in English?

I work as an engineer, and we talk about margins of error quite a bit. We all refer to it as plus minus one. Seems the wikipedia article also calls it the plus-minus sign Example: Q: "Hey what's ...
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  • 909
56 votes

How do I say “±” in English?

Basic Answer Generally, in English, you may pronounce the plus-minus sign (±) by saying "plus or minus". Generally, you should not say "plus minus". You do not need to know other ...
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  • 1,691
37 votes
Accepted

“Let for each 𝑗” vs. “For each 𝑗 let”

Mathematician here. Your proofreader is right. The revised version is how this is normally written. I would understand your original text, but it would make me stumble. You should avoid wording that ...
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  • 6,347
35 votes
Accepted

What's the natural way to express raising to the power of 2 (e.g.5²) and higher exponents (5³ and , 5⁴)?

52 is "five squared". 53 is "five cubed". 54 is "five to the power of four", "five to the power four", "five to the fourth power", "five to the ...
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  • 22.3k
30 votes

Do digits after the decimal point have a specific name?

Fractional part is both used in mathematics and other fields where such things are discussed, and easily understood by lay readers.
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  • 1,144
28 votes
Accepted

What do I call the ′ in mathematical formulae?

The single tick following a variable is often (but not always) used to represent a derivative and (in the United States) is always pronounced "prime." In your example, "Ex prime = ex plus tee." f(x)...
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  • 8,114
27 votes
Accepted

What does "Write code that creates a list of all integers from 50 to the power of 300." mean?

The way you have presented it, the statement makes no sense in terms of finite computation*. If you have copied the words correctly then the teacher has made a mistake. Are you 100% certain that you ...
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26 votes
Accepted

How to read this formula aloud: "f(x) = x²"?

It would normally be read aloud as: f of x equals x squared There are some variations you might hear. For example, sometimes is is used in place of equals. If the exponent was 3, you would say ...
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  • 108k
25 votes

Do digits after the decimal point have a specific name?

The fractional part of a number is known as the Mantissa. The mantissa is defined as the positive fractional part of a real number. Your suggestion of decimal places is usually used to specify a ...
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  • 7,968
25 votes

How do I say “±” in English?

People say it as "plus minus" all the time. (I'm a native speaker of AmEng, math guy). The other answers that say this is a bit informal and sometimes can lead to ambiguity are correct, but ...
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24 votes

How do you read these mathematical expressions aloud?

Here's how I'd say the first one: The absolute value of S minus the sum from 1 to n of f of t sub i times delta sub i is less than epsilon. Key: (1) The absolute value of (2) S minus (3) the sum ...
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  • 108k
24 votes
Accepted

How would people use "cherry-pick"?

In this context, "cherry-picking" is a very negative term. This meaning comes from statistical analysis. The term is idiomatic and informal. It is not as negative as accusing someone of lying, but ...
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  • 23.7k
24 votes
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How to describe a sample of one person?

We use the expression "anecdotal evidence". This doesn't have to mean a sample size of one (but it could) it does mean that the sampling was informal, and the data was based on personal testimony. ...
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  • 147k
23 votes
Accepted

How do you read the number 1.5?

You have several options: one point five one and a half one and one-half - can seem wordy. one and five-tenths - mathematically correct term, not used regularly. These are all correct. The hyphens ...
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  • 25.2k
23 votes

How do I say “±” in English?

In English, I have never heard "plus minus one" used to refer to the ± symbol; it would be confused with: x + -1 which could be spoken as "X plus minus one" and have a different ...
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  • 2,476
23 votes
Accepted

Is "100% correct pronunciation" an understandable, correct, and proper English expression?

Some English speakers feel that '100 per cent' is overused as an expression, especially in connection with things that cannot be measured. For example, you couldn't say a pronunciation was '87% ...
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  • 72.3k
22 votes
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What is the name of this mathematical symbol in English?

It is an upper case Sigma, from the Greek alphabet. It is almost always used to denote a summation: and is therefore (technically) called a summation symbol, as others pointed out in the comments.
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  • 14.5k
22 votes
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What is a non-prime number greater than 1 called in English?

From Wikipedia: Composite (number) A composite number is a positive integer that can be formed by multiplying together two smaller positive integers. Equivalently, it is a positive integer that ...
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20 votes

Is "100% correct pronunciation" an understandable, correct, and proper English expression?

Understandable? Yes. Almost all English natives would understand your intended meaning. Correct? I'd say so. Some might argue that it should be an adverb like "fully", but if it's correct ...
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19 votes
Accepted

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

There's no word that I'm aware of that means a third of a circle. We have quadrant (1/4), sextant (1/6) and octant (1/8) but nothing for a third beyond the generic term: a sector. You could call it ...
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  • 6,678
16 votes
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How to read "1 + (-2) = -1" and "1 - 2 = -1"

How you explain this really depends on how much you want to convey, and how much you think will be assumed. For instance, the most specific wording of the first example would go something like this: ...
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15 votes
Accepted

How do you read these mathematical expressions aloud?

The absolute value of the difference between S and the sum from i equals one through i equals n of the function f evaluated at t sub i times the width of each i is less than epsilon. If it ...
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  • 23.7k
15 votes

"Assume something be" or "Assume something is"?

Let us assume x is real This sounds about right. Let us assume x be real This is grammatically incorrect. Let us assume x to be real This is grammatically correct, but sounds awkward, though ...
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  • 1,477
14 votes

"... is called Minkowski space" or "is called the Minkowski space" and WHY?

There is a shade of meaning. Minkowski space is a mathematical entity that can be studied and applied to several different cases, but there is one specific case which stands out, as this entity ...
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14 votes
Accepted

Understand (may not): The students may not borrow more than 3 books in one month

While one meaning of "may" is "be in some degree likely to", in this case the meaning is probably "have permission to". Assuming the latter definition, the statement means that students are not ...
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  • 1,205
14 votes

How do I say “±” in English?

mathematical equation : 1 ± 1 , we can say plus or minus one , could I omit or to say plus minus one? a signed mathematical number: ± 1, we say positive or negtive one , but could I say plus minus ...
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  • 17.6k
14 votes

How do I say “±” in English?

The Google Ngram for plus or minus,plus-minus,plus and minus,plus minus is interesting You will see that “plus or minus” dominates the written use frequency. Edit 20210721, 10:20GMT Objections have ...
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  • 1,374
13 votes

Why don't we use articles for variables in math problems?

It’s a matter of context, and to a lesser extent jargon. A variable in mathematics actually has nothing to do with the symbol or name used to identify it. x² + y³ = 0 will always have the same ...
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