# Questions tagged [language-use]

Use of language in communicating mathematics. Includes all kinds of languages: spoken, written, symbolic etc. There is a separate tag for terminology, which is a narrow subfield of language use.

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### How to reduce ambiguity in the following question?

There are $50$ bacteria at 10:00 and each divides simultaneously into 2 every 20 minutes. The process of dividing into two is known as binary fission. Let $n$ be the number of fissions that have ...
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### Can students tell the difference between the “definition if” and the “theorem if”?

The word "if" is used in two meanings in mathematics: Definition. A topological space is compact if every open cover has a finite subcover. Theorem. A topological space is compact if it is ...
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### Words used in quantifier proofs

I'm creating a list of "gotcha words" that are often used in writing proofs (particularly quantifier proofs), but frequently in more than one possible way, and that beginners frequently misuse or ...
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### Logic in symbols or words

Making precise logical statements is an important part of teaching and learning mathematics. There are many ways to write such statements, and let me divide them into two main types1: writing in ...
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### Correct term to say that a number divides another number “evenly”?

This is something that has continued to bother me in general, and recently I had multiple occasions where saying something like "2 divides 14 evenly" has confused students, They expected the result to ...
310 views

### Language as a barrier to learn math

It is well recognized that learning number names is not an easy task for native English speaking children. For example, the number name for "11" should be learned quite independently from the name of ...
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### Resources for reading mathematics out loud in different languages

Are there reference books or online material for reading mathematics out loud in different languages? For example, the expression1) $$\int x^2dx=\frac13x^3$$ is understandable to anyone who has ...
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### Mathematics dictionary use for English Language Learners

My class is composed of international high school students coming from different countries and backgrounds. Hence different skills and needs. Our lingua franca is English and it is important to note ...
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### Uninsulting way to say “this will eventually be easy”

When presenting a proof, there are usually a lot of parts which look like "obvious", "routine" manipulation to me, and between zero and two genuinely insightful steps. I want to point out the ...