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Math Terms in Spanish

Instructor: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo

Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.

You want to be able to use math terms in Spanish, so this lesson provides you with the basic guidelines to do so. Many of them are very similar to English, which should help!

Subjects First

Learning Spanish? You might keep finding times when using math terminology in Spanish is necessary and you don't want to get lost. The solution is not difficult because many math related terms are similar to English, as they have a Latin origin. Thus, learn the terms in this lesson will be easy! You'll love the ease of it.

To begin, it is important to learn the name of those subjects that include math knowledge. Perhaps, you can use the following terms in the context of a practical sentence by answering any of these questions: 'What classes do you take?' or 'What classes are you considering?' Either way, let's use a simple phrase:

Me interesa la clase de _____ (I am interested in the _____ class).

You can fill in the blank with any of these subjects:

  • aritmética (arithmetic, pronounced: ah-reet-meh-tee-kah)
  • matemáticas (math, pronounced: mah-teh-mah-tee-kahs)
  • álgebra (algebra, pronounced: ahl-heh-brah)
  • cálculo (calculus, pronounced: kahl-koo-loh)
  • estadística (statistics, pronounced: ehs-tah-dees-tee-kah)
  • geometría (geometry, pronounced: heh-oh-meh-treeah)
  • física (physics, pronounced: fee-see-kah)
  • trigonometría (trigonometry, pronounced: tree-goh-noh-meh-tree-ah)

Basic Math

Now, let's look at how to say the names of the most basic operations. In Spanish we refer to each as a operación matemática. So, we have:

  • suma (addition, pronounced: soo-mah)
  • resta (subtraction, pronounced: rehs-tah)
  • multiplicación (multiplication, pronounced: mool-tee-plee-kah-see-on)
  • división (division, pronounced: dee-bee-see-on)
  • ecuación (equation, pronounced: eh-kwa-see-on)

Note: sometimes, in Spanish people refer to an 'equation' as regla de tres (pronounced: reh-glah deh trehs). The literal meaning of this expression is 'the three rule' because there are three known components in the equation and the fourth is to be found.

Now, let's look at the terminology you need to actually do the math:

  • más (plus, pronounced: mahs)
  • menos (minus, pronounced: meh-nohs)
  • por (multiplied by, pronounced: pohr)
  • para (divided by, pronounced: pah-rah)

Here are some examples of how you would use these terms:

dos más dos (two plus two)

cuatro menos uno (four minus one)

tres por cuatro (three multiplied by four)

ocho para dos (eight divided by two)

Only at times, people say multiplicado por to express a multiplication and dividido para to express a division. However, it is not necessary because the sole words por and para (as in the examples) imply a multiplication and a division, respectively.

To express the answer to a math operation, you can either use son (are, pronounced: sohn) or es igual a (equals, pronounced: ehs ee-gooahl ah).

For example:

dos más dos son cuatro (two plus two is four)

or

dos más dos es igual a cuatro (two plus two equals four)

Math-Related Terminology

Now, let's learn some math related terminology:

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