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Terms of Arithmetic

Making Spanish Numbers Add Up


A lesson in fractions

Una lección sobre las fracciones. (A lesson in fractions.)

Photo by Jimmie; licensed via Creative Commons.

Here are how the terms of basic arithmetic are used in Spanish:

Dos más tres son cinco. (Two plus three is five.)

Cinco menos cuatro son uno. (Five minus four is one.)

Tres por cuatro son doce. (Three times four is twelve.)

Doce dividido entre cuatro son tres. (Twelve divided by four is three.)
Doce dividido por cuatro son tres. (Twelve divided by four is three.)

Note that all of these sentences use the verb son, which is plural, in contrast with the singular verb "is" of English.

Here are some less common mathematical terms:

  • el cubo de — the cube of
  • el cuadrado de — the square of
  • ecuación — equation
  • elevado a la enésima potencia — raised to the nth power
  • número imaginario — imaginary number
  • quebrado, fracción — fraction
  • raíz cuadrada — square root
  • raíz cúbica — cube root

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