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Mathematical symbols


The following are some of the main symbols used in mathematics. If you know of any symbols not shown in the table below, you may suggest including them through our contact form.

Symbol Name Explanation
+ addition Reads as "more"
Ex: 2 + 3 = 5, means that if we add 2 and 3 the result is 5.
- subtraction Reads as "less"
Ex: 5-3 = 2 means that if we subtract 3 from 5, the result is 2.

The sign - also denotes a negative number. For example:

(-6) + 2 = -4. It means that if we add 2 to -6, the result is -4.

/ division Reads as "divided"
Ex: 6/2 = 3 means that if we divide 6 by 2, the result is 3.
* or x multiplication Reads as "multiplied"
Ex: 8 * 2 = 16, means that if we multiply 8 by 2, the result is 16.
= equality Reads as "equals"
Ex: x = y means that x and y have the same value. For example: 3 + 5 = 7 + 1
% percentage

Percentage indicates a rate or ratio calculated from the number 100. Examples:

N natural numbers

N is the set of natural numbers. Are the numbers ranging from 0 to +. Every natural number is immediately followed by another natural number called a successor, namely:
N = {0,1,2,3,4,…}.

The symbol N * is used to indicate the set of non-null natural numbers, ie:

N * = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12,… }

Z whole numbers The whole number set is the set of natural numbers plus their negative opposites. It is represented by the letter Z due to the fact that the word Zahl in German mean "number".

Z = {…, -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3,…}

The symbol Z * is used to indicate the set of integers, nonzero:

Z * = {… , -5, -4, -3, -2, -1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,… }

The symbol Z + is used to indicate the set of nonnegative integers:

Z + = {0,1,2,3,4,… }

The symbol Z- is used to indicate the set of non-positive integers:

Z - = {… , -3, -2, -1, 0}

The symbol Z * + is used to indicate the set of positive integers:

Z * + = {1,2,3,4,5,… }

The symbol Z * - is used to indicate the set of negative integers:

Z * - = {-1, -2, -3, -4, -5… }

Since all natural numbers are also whole numbers, we say that N is a subset of Z or that N is contained in Z:

N Z.