What is a Number Sentence? - Definition & Examples

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  • 0:00 Number Sentence Defined
  • 0:36 Checking Number Sentence
  • 1:49 Inequalities
  • 2:46 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Joseph Vigil
In this lesson, find out what elements are required for a complete number sentence and view some examples (and non-examples) of number sentences. Then, test your knowledge with a brief quiz.

Number Sentence Defined

What's a number sentence? Well, what's an ordinary, written sentence? It's a string of words that contains a subject and a verb, and it gives a complete piece of information. For example:

Jack jumped.

Similarly, a number sentence is a group of numbers that includes a mathematical operation -- think of addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division -- along with either an inequality (< or >) or an equal sign. And, just like a written sentence, it tells a fact. For example:

1 + 1 = 2

Checking Number Sentences

Number sentences exist to tell us information. The above example tells us that if we put together two groups of one item, two is the resulting total.

What makes this a number sentence? Well, let's check this against the elements of a number sentence given above:

  • It has numbers.
  • It has a mathematical operation (in this case, addition).
  • It has an equal sign with a number after it.

Take out any of these elements, and we no longer have a number sentence.

  • Take out the numbers, and we just have + and =. Definitely not a number sentence.
  • Take out the addition sign, and we have 1 1 = 2. Again, no go.
  • Take out the equal sign, and we have 1 + 1 2. Just doesn't make sense.

We need all the required elements to make a number sentence that makes sense. Let's write another one!

100 / 4 = 25

This number sentence tells us that if we take one hundred items and divide them equally into four groups, each of those groups will contain 25 items. Remove any of those required elements, and again, you no longer have a number sentence.

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