# Math Symbols

Symbols are a concise way of giving lengthy instructions related to numbers and logic. They are an invention, not a discovery. They are a communication tool. They are used to eliminate the need to write long, plain language instructions to describe calculations and other processes. For example, a single sign stands for the entire process for addition. The familiar plus sign eliminates the need for a long written explanation of what addition means and how to accomplish it.The word subtraction or minus is replaced by sign - . The word multiplication or product is replaced by its sign 'X'. The word division is replaced by its sign as ÷ Signs are 'pictures' or 'abstract figures' that represent and connect concrete mathematical concepts. Drawings of 2-D and 3-D shapes, such as circles and spheres, are one kind of symbol. However, the term is most often used with the markings that tell students whether to add, subtract, multiply or divide; they also indicate which functions need to be done first.
Once students learn a concept, you may find that teaching the related sign is relatively easy because it's simply a matter of adding a new sign to their toolbox. In other words, the hard part for most kids is understanding how to multiply, rather than understanding that the sign x represents multiplication. The same signs are used worldwide . . . The signs used in mathematics are universal. The same math signs are used throughout the civilized world. In most cases each sign gives the same clear, precise meaning to every reader, regardless of the language they speak. The most valuable, most frequently used signs in mathematics . . . The most important, most frequently used math signs are listed below. They are separated into five different categories:
Algebra      Geometry      Logic

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