# Basic Maths Symbols

**maths**(BrE) |

**math**(AmE) is the short form of

**mathematics**This page lists basic maths symbols with their names and examples in English.

**+**

plus sign / addition sign

The **plus sign** represents:

### a. the notion of **positive**

Any number bigger than zero is a positive number and can be written with or without a plus sign in front of it.

Thus, +5 (plus five) and 5 (five) are the same number.

### b. the operation of addition

3 + 5 = 8

three plus five equals eight

five added to three makes eight

three added to five makes eight

if you add five to three you get eight

Addition gives us a **sum**. In 3 + 5 = 8, the sum is eight.

## -

minus sign / subtraction sign

The **minus sign** represents:

### a. the notion of negative

Any number smaller than zero is a negative number and is written with a minus sign in front of it.

-3

minus three

### b. the operation of subtraction

8 - 5 = 3

eight minus five equals three

five subtracted from eight equals three

if you subtract five from eight you get three

if you take five from eight you get three

Subtraction gives us a **difference**. In 8 - 5 = 3, the difference is three.

## ×

times sign / multiplication sign

The **times sign** represents:

**multiplication**

5 x 6 = 30

five times six equals thirty

five multiplied by six equals thirty

five sixes are thirty

if you multiply 5 by 6 you get thirty

Multiplication gives us a **product**. In 5 x 6 = 30, the product is thirty.

## ÷ OR /

division sign

The **division sign** represents:

### division

15 ÷ 3 = 5

15 / 3 = 5

fifteen divided by three equals five

five goes into fifteen three times

if you divide fifteen by three you get five

if you divide three into fifteen you get five

Division gives us a **quotient**. In 15 ÷ 3 = 5, the quotient is five.

operation | result | ||
---|---|---|---|

addition | "plus" | 2 + 2 = 4 | sum |

subtraction | "minus" | 5 - 3 = 2 | difference |

multiplication | "times" | 3 x 5 = 15 | product |

division | "divided by" | 21 / 7 = 3 | quotient |

## =

equals sign

The **equals sign** represents **equality**:

3 + 4 = 7

three plus four equals seven

Note that we usually say **equals** NOT equal:

- two plus two
**equals**four ~~two plus two equal four~~

## <

less than

3 < 4

three is less than four

## >

greater than

4 > 3

four is greater than three

## ≠

NOT equal to

x ≠ z

x is not equal to z

## ≥

greater than or equal to

x ≥ z

x is greater than or equal to z

## ≤

less than or equal to

z ≤ x

z is less than or equal to x

## ¾

fraction

see fractions

## .

decimal separator | point

The decimal separator separates a whole number from its fractional part to the right:

1.23

In English, the decimal separator is usually a point (.). Note that in some languages the decimal separator is a comma (,).

see decimals

## ,

thousands separator

In English, the thousands separator separates whole numbers into groups of three from the right.

10,987,654,321

In English, the thousands separator is usually a comma (,). Note that in some languages the thousands separator is a point (.) or sometimes a space ( ).

see thousands

## %

percent sign

The **percent sign** indicates a number or ratio as a fraction of 100 (**percentage**).

40%

forty percent

Only forty percent of the people voted for her.

What percentage voted for her? Forty percent.

## √

square root

√16 = 4

the square root of sixteen equals four

the square root of sixteen is four