Tag Archives: difference

The Vocabulary of Subtraction

Near the beginning of this month, there was a blog entry (“Vocabulary of Addition”) in which I defined the math terms for an equation using the operation of addition. Today, I will show you the English math words associated with the fundamental skill of subtraction and its associated numerical expressions {language model}.


A minuend is the number from which another is to be subtracted.


The minus sign is the symbol that represents the operation of subtraction in this equation.


The subtrahend is the number to be subtracted from the minuend.


The difference is the result of subtracting the subtrahend from the minuend.

As you can see, the terms associated with subtraction are a little more obscure and less commonly used in math conversations than the ones for addition. These terms emphasize the fact that the order of terms in subtracting two numbers does matter.  We need to recognize this difference when we use language to describe mathematics.

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