I never liked math in school that much. However, math is very important! Because of this, knowing English for math is also important. If you have to talk about numbers, you’ll have to use some English for math. In this edition of Easy English, we **cover** (talk about) some basic math terms. These will be very useful in your daily life, because we use math every day.

So **break out** (get out, use) your **calculator** (tool to do math quickly), some paper, and maybe your dictionary. We’re learning **all about** (everything) English for math today!

## To solve (ˈtuː ˈsɑːlv)

When you’re talking about math, you **solve** math **problems** (equations). **Solving** a math problem is the process of finding the right answer. Some math problems are easy to **solve**! Some are very hard. And some problems have never been **solved** at all! Did you like **solving** math problems in school? Or did you not like math class very much?

For example:

- Can you
**solve**this math problem for me? I keep**getting**(having) the wrong answer! - He had to
**solve**15 math problems for homework but they were hard! It took him 2 hours to finish his homework!

## Add (ˈæd)

**Addition**, or to **add**, is to bring two or more things together. This will now give you a new total. For example, you have two apples. Your friend gives you two more apples. To find the solution, you **add** two and two. In this case, you would have four apples. It is written like this: 2+2 = 4 and we say, “two plus two equals four”.

For example:

- Her daughter learned how to
**add**in school yesterday. She helped her daughter with all her**addition**homework last night. - Can you please check my
**addition**here? I think it’s right, but I want to be sure.

## Subtract (səbˈtrækt)

To **subtract** is to take a number away from another number. This is called **subtraction**. For example, you have five apples. Someone **steals** (takes without asking for permission) two apples from you. Here, you would have to **subtract** two from five. And you would end up with three apples. It is written like this: 5-2 = 3 and we say, “five minus two equals three”.

For example:

- The teacher taught the children
**subtraction**. They practiced a lot in math class. - Please
**subtract**23 from 30. Write the correct answer below. (The answer is 7!)

## Multiply (ˈmʌltəˌplaɪ)

To **multiply** is **essentially** (basically) repeated addition. This can also be called multiplication. For example, five friends give you three apples each. How do you count these quickly? In this case, you can **multiply** five by three. The answer would be 15 apples. In this case, you are adding three to itself five times. It is written like this: 3×5 = 15 and we say, “three times five equals fifteen”.

For example:

**Multiplication**can be hard, but if you work on it, it’ll get easier!- Please
**multiply**14 by nine. Write the solution on the board when you’re finished. (The answer is 126!)

## Divide (dəˈvaɪd)

To **divide** is to **split** (divide, share, make smaller) numbers into parts **equally** (the same amount). In math, you can call this **division** or to **divide**. For example, you have 12 apples and three friends. You want to give all your friends the same number of apples. If you do this, you have to **divide** the apples. To do this, you **divide** 12 by three. In this case, each friend would get four apples. It is written like this: 12/3 = 4 and we say, “twelve divided by three equals four”.

For example:

- Can you
**divide**these cards between everyone, please? Make sure everyone gets the same amount! - She always thought
**division**was hard. She likes to use a calculator to make sure she’s right.

When was the last time you did math? Did you find this English for math vocabulary helpful? Let us know in the comments below!

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**Erin Duffin** lives in Hamburg, is an English teacher, blogger, yoga instructor, and was never very good at math. This is why English for math is important!

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