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Glossary: Equation Vocabulary

An equation says  "this equals that"

It tells you that two things are equal. It will have an equals sign "=" like this in the middle:

x + 2 = 6

The equation above says: what is on the left (x + 2) is equal to what is on the right (6)

Mathematicians have names for different parts of an equation.

Here we have an equation that says 4x-7 equals 5, and all its parts:

Variable is a symbol for a number we don't know yet. It is usually a letter like x or y.

A number on its own is called a Constant.

Coefficient is a number used to multiply a variable (5x means 5 times x, so 5 is a coefficient)

An Operator is a symbol (such as +, -, ×, etc). It represents a mathematical operation (isomething you want to do something with the values).

Term is either a single number or a variable, or numbers and variables multiplied together.

An Expression is a group of terms (the terms are separated by + or - signs)

Mathematicians wil say things about equations like "That expression has only two terms", or "The second term is a constant", or "Are you sure the coefficient is really 4?"