Basic Math Terms Every Student Needs To Know (Alphabetical Order)

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Here is a list basic Math Terms in alphabetical order. I hope you find it useful.


Click here for the list of Math Terms arranged by Topics.

Addend

An addend is a number on the left hand side of an Addition Math sentence or equation. In this example: 21 + 52 = 73, the addends are 21 and 52.

The sum must always bigger than either addend.This fact is useful for helping the student do a quick check on whether his answer is correct.


Addition, Add

Addition is a basic Math operation.  To add means to combine numbers to form a bigger number. When we add, the addends are always smaller than the sum.

Some addition equations may actually require the student to do a reverse addition when the addend is the unknown.

Example:     ___ + 24 = 33

To find the addend,we have to ask "What number is needed to make 24 into 33?"

A reverse addition is like carrying out subtraction.

Help your child understand the concept of Addition by using number bonds.

     Related Concepts:  Number Bond, Number Line 

Download these free cards to practice addition. The more players there are, the more fun it is!


Ascending Order

Writing numbers in ascending order means writing the number in order of size starting with the smallest.

You can think of ascending order as going up a flight of stairs or numbers getting bigger.

Ordering numbers helps develop number sense.

The best way to practice this is to write some numbers on small cards. Jumble up the cards, then let your child arrange them in ascending order.  Make it into a race to see who can arrange their numbers fastest.

     Related Concepts: Consecutive Numbers, Descending Order,

                                Ordering Numbers


Common Factor

A common factor is a factor that occurs in all the numbers being compared. There is a fixed number of common factors between numbers.
(See the section on Factor and GCF.)


Example: What are the common factors of 12 and 30? 

     Factors of 12 = 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 12
     Factors of 30 = 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 15, 30

Answer: 1, 2, 3, 6



Common Multiple

A common multiple is a multiple that occurs in all the numbers being compared. There is an infinite number of common multiples between numbers.
(See the section on Multiple and LCM.)


Example: What are the first 5 common multiples of 2 and 3? 

     Multiples of 2 = 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 ...
     Multiples of 3 = 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36, ...

Answer: 6, 12, 18, 24, 30

Click here for a list of multiples of 2 to 10 for easy reference.


Consecutive Numbers

This Math term refers to numbers that appear in running order (ex. 10, 11, 12...). The difference between each consecutive number is one.


Consecutive Even Numbers

These are even numbers that appear in running order (ex. 2, 4, 6...). The difference between each consecutive even number is two.

If X and Y are consecutive even numbers and Y is bigger than X, than we know the following equation is true:

Y - X = 2


Consecutive Odd Numbers

These are odd numbers that appear in running order (ex. 7, 9, 11...). The difference between each consecutive odd number is also two.

If M and N are consecutive odd numbers and N is bigger than M, than we know the following equation is true:

N - M = 2


Counting Numbers

These are consecutive numbers starting from 1 (ex. 1, 2, 3...). Click here to learn more on Counting Numbers.

Table of Contents


In Maths, there are always lots of different ways to get to the right answer. Once your child understands that, he can can be free to try all methods, to work things out for himself and enjoy the process of learning and understanding Maths. Games help your child enjoy the learning process. Visit my store below for more free Math materials:


Denominator

This Math term applies to a fraction. It is the bottom number in a fraction.  The top number in the fraction is called the numerator.

The numerator tells us the number of parts we want and the denominator tells us the total number of parts.
(See Fraction)

› Math Terms (Alphabetical)

Math Terms (Topical)


Descending Order

Writing numbers in descending order means writing the number in order of size starting with the biggest. You can think of descending order as going down a flight of stairs or numbers getting smaller.

Ordering numbers helps develop number sense.


Difference

You find the difference of 2 numbers by subtracting the smaller number from the bigger (ex. the difference of 2 and 10 is 8. The difference of 10 and 2 is also 8).

The difference is the answer of a subtraction equation.

You can also think of difference as "How far apart are the numbers on a number line?"


Dividend, Divisor, Quotient, Remainder

These Math terms relate to division. See the graphics below.

Dividend is the number to be divided.

Divisor is the number divided into or the number of groups.

Quotient is the answer you get after dividing. You can think of it as the number inside each group.

Remainder is the number left over. The remainder must always be smaller than the divisor.


Divisible

This Math term refers to division.


If we ask "Is 26 divisible by 3?" what we mean is "Can 26 be divided by 3 without leaving any remainder?"


If the answer is yes, than 26 is divisible by 3.
If the answer is no, then 26 is not divisible by 3. 

26 is not divisible by 3 because there is a remainder of 2.

     Related Concept:  Factor


Division

Division is a Math operation where you arrange (divide) a number into groups of smaller numbers. It is the opposite of multiplication.

There are 2 ways to think about division.


Example: "18 divided by 3 equals 6" can mean if you arrange 18 items into 3 groups you will get 6 items in each group.

Or it can mean if you arrange 18 items into groups of 3, you will get six groups.

Learn how to teach your child Long Division.

Table of Contents


Equivalent Fraction

An equivalent fraction is a fraction that is the same size as another fraction but with more parts.

Imagine a chocolate cake and a plain cake of the same size. The chocolate cake is cut into 4 equal pieces. The plain cake is cut into 2 equal pieces.

2 pieces of the chocolate cake would be the same size as 1 piece of the plain cake.

We say that 2/4 is equivalent to 1/2.

Equivalent fractions are needed when we compare, add or subtract fractions with different denominators.

Get flashcards for practice:

Comparing Fractions Flash cards
Equivalent Fractions Flash cards

We do not use equivalent fractions to multiply or divide fractions.


Even Number

An even number is a number with the digit 0, 2, 4, 6 or 8 in the 'ones' place. Examples of even numbers: 4, 20, 38, 1110, 2378
(See Place Value)

The difference between two even numbers is 2.

Consecutive even numbers run in order: 34, 36, 38....


Factor

This Math term is similar to the term divisible.

If we want to know whether 2 is a factor of 25, what we really want to know is
"Can 25 be divided by 2 without leaving any remainder?"

If the answer is yes, than 2 is a factor of 25.
If the answer is no, then 2 is not a factor of 25.

So now we know that 2 is not a factor of 25 because there is a remainder of 1.

To find out whether one number is a factor of another, we have to divide the second number by the first.


If the result is a whole number with no remainder, then the first number is a factor of the second. 
(See also Divisible, GCF.)


Fraction

There are two ways to look at fractions.

One way is to think of breaking up a whole piece into smaller equal pieces. So half a cake means cutting a cake into 2 equal parts and taking only 1 of the parts. Or one piece out of two pieces.

This way is called 'parts of a whole'. 
The important thing to remember is that each piece must be of the same size as every other piece.

Another way to look at fractions is 'parts of a group' of items. In this case, each part does not have to be the same size. If there are 5 people in a room, two-fifths of them would mean 2 people (or 2 out of 5).

Fractions and division are related operations since we are breaking up a large number into smaller numbers.
(See Denominator, Division, Numerator)

More on Fractions:

Types of fractions,   Adding Fractions,    Subtracting Fractions,    Multiplying Fractions,   Mixed Numbers,   Simplifying Fractions


GCF (Greatest Common Factor) or HCF (Highest Common Factor)

These 2 Math terms have the same meaning.

If you want to find the GCF or HCF of a few numbers, you first find all the possible factors of each number.

Then you choose the biggest factor that can be found in each number.

Example: Find the HCF of 24 and 30.

    Factors of 24 = 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 24
    Factors of 30 = 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 15, 30

The GCF (or HCF) of 24 and 30 is 6.

› Math Terms (Alphabetical)

Math Terms (Topical)


Improper Fraction

An improper fraction is one where the numerator is bigger than the denominator. It means that there is a whole number included in the fraction.


Less Than

This Math term occurs often in problem sums. 'Less ... Than' or 'fewer ... than' means 'smaller than'.

If John's height is less than George's height, it means the number for John's height is smaller than the number for George's height.

This concept is very important for your child to understand. Learn more in Basic Math Skills.

12 is less than 23


Mixed Number or Mixed Fraction

A mixed number, also called mixed fraction, consists of a whole number and a fraction.


More Than

This Math term occurs often in problem sums. 'More ... than' also means 'bigger than' or 'in excess of' or 'extra'.

If John has more stickers than George, this means the number of John's stickers is bigger than the number of George's stickers.

Get some cards to practise the concepts of Less Than and More Than with your child.


Multiple

A multiple is the result of a multiplication.

For example, the third multiple of 6 is 18 (the result of multiplying 3 and 6).

Another example: The question "Is 24 a multiple of 5?" really means
"Can 5 be multiplied by any number to give the answer 24?"

If the answer is yes, than 24 is a multiple of 5.

If the answer is no, then 24 is not a multiple of 5. 

Click here for a list of multiples for easy reference.

     Related Concept: Factor


Multiply, Multiplication or Times

Multiply means groups of the same numbers. We can think of multiplication in 2 ways.

For example: 2 x 5 can mean 2 groups of 5 or two 5's.
This is the same as 5 + 5. This is the better way to think about multiplication as it is more useful during problem sums.


Or 2 x 5 can also mean 2 in a group, 5 groups altogether. This is the same as 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2.

Learn to multiply fractions here.


Number Bond

A number bond is a concept of thinking about numbers as being made up of other numbers, similar to adding numbers.

Useful number bonds are those that form round numbers like 6, 4 and 10.

Number bonds make addition easier to understand.


Number Line

A number line is a horizontal line with markings to show the position of numbers relative to each other.

The numbers on the right of the line are bigger than the numbers on the left.


Numerals

These are numbers written in symbols (ex. 1, 2, 3...) in contrast to numbers written in words (ex. one, two, three...).


Numerator

This Math term applies to a fraction

It is the top number of a fraction.
The bottom number is called the denominator.

The numerator tells us the number of parts we want and the denominator tells us the total number of parts.
(See Fraction)


Odd Number

An odd number is a number with the digit 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 in the 'ones' place. Examples of odd numbers are 5, 11, 45, 267, 4209, 9000.
(See Place Value)


Ordering Numbers

To write numbers in order means to write them in a particular sequence, either in ascending order (from small to big) or descending order from big to small).
Click here for 1 to 100 numbers chart.  Cut out the numbers to practice putting them in ascending or descending order.

Click here to learn more.

(See Ascending Order, Descending Order)

Learning to arrange numbers in order


Ordinal Numbers

These are numbers that refer to position. They can be written as numerals (ex. 1st, 2nd, 3rd...) or words (ex. first, second, third...)


Place, Place Value

Place refers to the position of the digit in a number.

Place Value is the value of the digit.

Numbers are made up of digits (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, ... 9). The value of each digit depends on its place or position.

For instance, the digit 2 in the 'tens' place has a value of twenty and a value of two if it is in the 'ones' place. 

Try this worksheet.


Product

This Math term refers to the result of multiplication.

For example, the product of 5 and 8 is 40. (5 x 8 = 40)

(See Multiply, Multiplication, Times)


Subtraction

Subtraction is the reverse of addition. It is a reduction of a number. The number being subtracted is called the minuend.  The subtrahend is the number used to reduce the minuend.

The answer is also called the difference.

Example:  44 - 27 = 14

More Topics

Math Terms by Topics
Multiplication
Long Division
Fun Math


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