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Today's Daily Dose of English is a request from Albert, in Catalonia, Spain. Albert has written:

I recently saw the "Computer Symbols" video and thought it'd be really interesting [to have] a video about mathematic operations. For example, it took me some time to find out that 3 x 4 was read "three times four" (in Spanish we say "three by four"). There are plenty of them: 3+3, 3-3, 3*3, 3/3, 3^3, sqrt(3), 3! and a lot more which I don't know how to write their symbols now.

Many thanks for your videos!!! :-) Albert Mata.

And many thanks to you, Albert, for making the request. It's an excellent question and one that I'm sure many students are also unsure about.

Unfortunately, Maths was never my strong point. I've always been very good with English and always very bad with mathematics. However, if we avoid numbers and stick to the language, I should manage to explain this one reasonably well.

From school, I remember the basic symbols that most people are familiar with, even if we're not particularly good at manipulating them. The most basic of these are... + - x ÷ =

Let's start with the first one. This is the addition sign. We say it as plus or add. 1+2, 4+9.

The next one is the subtraction sign. We say it as minus, or subtract, or take. 1-2, 13-12, 99-7.

Then we have the multiplication sign. We say this as times or multiplied by. 3x8, 26x3

The next is the division sign. I discovered that this is also called the obelus. You can also show division as /. We say this as divided by, or over. 3 ÷ 1, 10 ÷ 5, 6 / 3

The last of the common symbols is the equals sign. We say this as equals or is equal to.

Other symbols I remember from my schooldays are... √ % π ° ∞ ± so we can look at these, too.

This one is the square root. We say the square root of. √4 = 2

This one is the percentage sign. We say percent. 100%

This one is Pi. This is a mathematical constant which begins 3.141592653 and apparently has no end. This is an irrational number, apparently, though I have always been of the opinion that all numbers are irrational.

People seem to be fascinated by Pi for the reason that it has no end. The only thing I remember about it is that the circumference of a circle equals π times its diameter, or something like that.

The next symbol is the degree symbol. We say degrees. 90° 360°

Then we have the symbol for infinity. That's about all I know of this one.

Lastly, we have the plus minus sign. We say plus or minus. 6 ± 2. I have absolutely no idea why anyone would want to do this, but then again I teach English.

My dislike of mathematics stems from my teacher making me stay in class at playtime because I couldn't memorise my multiplication tables when I was about 7 years old.

I'm 7x7 now and I still don't know the multiplication tables by heart and I still don't like mathematics.

So, I'm afraid that's the extent of my knowledge of mathematical symbols and the end of this Daily Dose of English.

I hope you enjoyed it and I'll see you again soon for another one.

Goodbye for now.

I recently saw the "Computer Symbols" video and thought it'd be really interesting [to have] a video about mathematic operations. For example, it took me some time to find out that 3 x 4 was read "three times four" (in Spanish we say "three by four"). There are plenty of them: 3+3, 3-3, 3*3, 3/3, 3^3, sqrt(3), 3! and a lot more which I don't know how to write their symbols now.

Many thanks for your videos!!! :-) Albert Mata.

And many thanks to you, Albert, for making the request. It's an excellent question and one that I'm sure many students are also unsure about.

Unfortunately, Maths was never my strong point. I've always been very good with English and always very bad with mathematics. However, if we avoid numbers and stick to the language, I should manage to explain this one reasonably well.

From school, I remember the basic symbols that most people are familiar with, even if we're not particularly good at manipulating them. The most basic of these are... + - x ÷ =

Let's start with the first one. This is the addition sign. We say it as plus or add. 1+2, 4+9.

The next one is the subtraction sign. We say it as minus, or subtract, or take. 1-2, 13-12, 99-7.

Then we have the multiplication sign. We say this as times or multiplied by. 3x8, 26x3

The next is the division sign. I discovered that this is also called the obelus. You can also show division as /. We say this as divided by, or over. 3 ÷ 1, 10 ÷ 5, 6 / 3

The last of the common symbols is the equals sign. We say this as equals or is equal to.

Other symbols I remember from my schooldays are... √ % π ° ∞ ± so we can look at these, too.

This one is the square root. We say the square root of. √4 = 2

This one is the percentage sign. We say percent. 100%

This one is Pi. This is a mathematical constant which begins 3.141592653 and apparently has no end. This is an irrational number, apparently, though I have always been of the opinion that all numbers are irrational.

People seem to be fascinated by Pi for the reason that it has no end. The only thing I remember about it is that the circumference of a circle equals π times its diameter, or something like that.

The next symbol is the degree symbol. We say degrees. 90° 360°

Then we have the symbol for infinity. That's about all I know of this one.

Lastly, we have the plus minus sign. We say plus or minus. 6 ± 2. I have absolutely no idea why anyone would want to do this, but then again I teach English.

My dislike of mathematics stems from my teacher making me stay in class at playtime because I couldn't memorise my multiplication tables when I was about 7 years old.

I'm 7x7 now and I still don't know the multiplication tables by heart and I still don't like mathematics.

So, I'm afraid that's the extent of my knowledge of mathematical symbols and the end of this Daily Dose of English.

I hope you enjoyed it and I'll see you again soon for another one.

Goodbye for now.

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