In this lesson we will learn some very important symbol names. It is very useful to be able to use these names because they are used all over the internet and therefore can be helpful when searching. In addition, many math teachers ask you what a certain symbol is called so it’s good to know this information.

We will learn some math symbols and their names. Some other common symbols in English and their names. They help in Math problem solving.

It is very important to learn symbols as a student of math because it help with problem solving. It helps in many ways, in writing equations and many more.

You will find it very useful in your studies or in math class when you have to write down any equation or discuss about any math problems.

**Common Symbols Names in English**

**1) Sum** – Sigma

**2) Difference** – Delta

**3) Product** – Pi

**4) Quotient** – Gamma

**5) Reciprocal** – Omega

**6) Even or Odd** – Theta

**7) Absolute Value** – two vertical straight lines

**8) Integral** – Infinity (∫)

**9) Radical Sign (√)**, Square Root of (2, 4, 8 etc.)

**10) Absolute Equivalent** – Reversed N Equals (≡)

**11) Equivalence or Identity** – Equals Sign (=), Equal to (≡)

**12) Reciprocal of Equivalent** – Not Equals To (- ≠)

Symbols are a form of a mathematical language. They are used to express a number or an idea.

**There are different types of symbols:**

1. Linear symbols

2. Quadratic symbols

3. Radical symbols

4. Trigonometric symbols

5. Absolute value, Inequality Symbols etc.

**Symbol Names in English**

**Star (*)**

Star is a symbol which is used to indicate the multiplication of two things. For example:

5 * 2 = 10

In this case, we make a star by putting 5 points and then another 2 points inside the star like this: * . This symbol was first seen in Europe around 500 A.D.

**Plus Symbol (+)**

Plus symbol indicates adding something to another thing. For example:

3 + 2 = 5

The symbol “+” is thought to have originated from the letter “u” for the latin word et which means and .

**Multiplication Symbol (****×****)**

The multiplication symbol is used for multiplying two things. For example:

3 × 2 = 6

This symbol was first seen in Europe around 500 A.D.

**Asterisk (*)**

An asterisk, or star, is a symbol which can be found on your computer’s number keypad and it looks like this: * . It is used to indicate a footnote. Usually if you see an asterisk in a math problem, it tells you to go to the end of the problem and look at the footnote.

**Spaceship (⨌ or ⨍)**

A spaceship looks like this: It is used when talking about vectors which are mathematical objects that have direction and magnitude. For example:

v = 4i + 2j

The above vector is in the “direction of” i and “magnitude of” j.

**Apostrophe (‘ ‘)**

The apostrophe is used to indicate that a mathematical expression is an imaginary number. For example:

i = sqrt(-1)

The above number has no real value, but it does have a purpose in mathematics.

**Period (.)**

A period represents the decimal point or radix point of a numeral system. That means it separates the integer part from the fractional part in a number. For example:

1.2345678910

In this case, we have a period that separates 1 and 2345678910⁄ 10 .

**Arrow (→)**

An arrow looks like the one below: It is used to indicate an increase or decrease in a variable. For example:

h(t) = 6 – 2t

In this case, the arrow is used to indicate that h increases when t increases. The general formula for an arrow is f(x + Δx) = f(x) + Δf .

**Left Arrow (←)**

A left arrow looks like this: It is used to indicate the order of operations. For example:

12 – 5 + 3 * 2

In this case, we go from left to right because of the left arrow. This means that we do 12 – 5 and then 3 * 2 . We don’t do 5 + 3 * 2 .

**Ampersand (&)**

An ampersand looks like & It is used when we want to say “and” or “inclusive or.” For example:

x and y

This means that “x” is equal to one thing and “y” is also equal to another. Another example would be:

sigma x & y

This means that the variables x and y are included in the sum sign sigma .

**Tilde (~)**

A tilde looks like this ~ It is used when talking about complex conjugates in mathematics. For example:

z = x + iy

In this case, ~ means that you must take the complex conjugate of the number inside parenthesis .

**Dollar Sign ($)**

A dollar sign is used to indicate an unknown variable. For example:

3x$

The above means that the variable x is known, but its numerical value is unknown.

**Angle brackets (⟨ ⟩)**

Angle brackets are used to group objects together. For example:

2 ⟨ x, y, z ⟩

In this case, we put all of the variables inside and it means that they all go together in some way.

**Vertical bar (|)**

A vertical bar is used to indicate “or” in mathematics. For example:

x | y

This means exactly what you think it means. It means that x is equal to one thing and y is equal to another.

**General Symbols in English**

**Exclamation Point (!)**

An exclamation point can be found on your computer’s number keypad and it looks like this: ! . It is used to indicate that an expression is absolutely true.

** Question Mark (?)**

A question mark can be found on your computer’s number keypad and it looks like this: ? . It is used to ask a question in English.

**Hyphen (-)**

A hyphen looks like this: It is used in many ways. Sometimes it is used to indicate division. It is used in english for an adjective. It is also used to separate a prefix from the rest of the word.

**Dash (–)**

A dash looks like this: It is used to separate numbers in certain cases. It can be used like a hyphen in some circumstances to indicate division.

**Apostrophe (‘ ’)**

An apostrophe is used in contractions when omitting the word “do” when speaking. For example:

I don’t want to go can be expressed as “I don’ t want to go ” or ” I don’t wan t to go ”

**Comma (,)**

A comma is used to separate items in lists. It can also be used to indicate duration of time. For example:

He was there for 3 days , 7 hours, and 2 minutes .

**Period (.)**

A period is a important symbol in English that is used to separate the integer part from the fractional part of a number. It is also used to indicate decimal points or radix points in numeral systems.