Math Homonyms


There are pitfalls in mathematics due to HOMONYMS of which not many people are aware. These pitfalls bar the progress of a student completely.


EXAMPLE 1: ‘5’ is a number. ‘5’ is also a digit. The truth is that ‘5’ is a single-digit number just like ‘I’ is a single-letter word. A number is like a word, whereas, a digit is like a letter. The lack of clear differentiation between a digit and a number creates trouble.


EXAMPLE 2: The “–” symbol is used for subtraction. The “–” symbol is also used for negative numbers. This creates a great confusion. Most people are still in that confusion. The fact is that a negative number is obtained when a number is subtracted from zero:

–5  =  0 – 5


EXAMPLE 3: The symbol, such as, “x” in Algebra is used for an unknown, where it can have only one value as in x + 3  =  7. The symbol “x” is also used for a variable, where it can have many different values as in x + y  =  7.


By the time people get to High School they are so lost where math is concerned that they are not even aware of the above confusion. They just feel that math is difficult to understand.


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  • Anonymous  On April 29, 2015 at 10:19 AM

    yes very bad

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