How understanding addends, minuends and multiplicands will pay dividends in mathematical discussions with your child.

For those who left school any time before 2010 there is a sometimes bewildering array of mathematical language to learn if you are going to engage with your child’s maths homework.

For instance, most of us were taught that finding the sum of two or more numbers meant that we needed to add the numbers, but how many of us were taught that the numbers we were adding together were called addends? Similarly, we were probably taught that finding the difference meant subtracting one number from another but how many of us learned about the minuend and the subtrahend?

For the befuddled and bewildered who, like me, didn’t learn these and other mathematical terms at school, here is a brief guide to maths speak used in the processes of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to help you understand your child when they talk about arithmetic with you.

7 + 3 = 10

addend plus addend equals sum

10 – 7 = 3

minuend minus subtrahend equals difference.

7 x 3 = 21

multiplicand multiplied by multiplier equals product

21 ÷ 7 = 3

dividend divided

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