Algebra Explained

What are some other terms used in dealing with algebraic equations?

There are many terms in algebra, including those dealing with equations. The following lists some of the more common ones:

Equality and inequality—An equality is a mathematical statement that shows the equivalence of two quantities. For example, if a is equal to b, it is written as the equality a = b. An inequality is just the opposite: a does not equal b, or a ≠ b.

Formula—A formula is a rule, fact, or principle expressed in terms of mathematical symbols, including equations, equalities, identities, or inequalities. (Note: the plural of formula in Latin is “formulae,” but it is more readily accepted today as “formulas.”)

Identity—An identity is a mathematical relationship equating one quantity to another that initially may appear to differ; it also means an equation that is always true, such as the Pythagorean theorem (for more about identities, see below).


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