The numbers to be added together in an addition question. In 3 + 5 = 8, the addends are 3 and 5.


Any straight line used for measuring or as a reference.


Balance has many meanings. In money matters, the balance is the amount left. It might be the amount left in a bank account (bank balance) or it might be the amount you still must pay on a bill (balance owing).

cancelled cheque

A cheque that has been cashed. The cheque is stamped, or cancelled, so it is no longer negotiable.


The distance around a circle; the perimeter of a circle.


Salespeople may be paid a percentage of the money made in sales. The commission is part or all of their earnings.

common fractions

e.g., ⅔, ³⁄₇ , ⁴⁹⁄₅₀

cross multiply

In a proportion, multiply the numerator of the first fraction times the denominator of the second fraction. Then multiply the denominator of the first fraction times the numerator of the second fraction. In a true proportion, the products of the cross multiplication are equal.


The bottom number in a common fraction; the denominator tells into how many equal parts the whole thing has been divided.


The distance across a circle through its centre.


The result of a subtraction question, the answer. Subtraction gives the difference between two numbers.


Any of the ten numerals (0 to 9) are digits. This term comes from our ten fingers which are called digits. The numerals came to be called "digits" from the practice of counting on the fingers!


An amount taken off the regular cost. If something is bought "at a discount" it is bought at less than the regular price.


To separate into equal parts.


The number or quantity to be divided; what you start with before you divide.


The number of groups or the quantity into which a number (the dividend) is to be separated.

equal (=)

The same as


A mathematical statement that two quantities are equal. An equation may use numerals with a letter to stand for an unknown quantity. 6 + Y = 9.


Equal in value; equivalent numbers (whole or fractions) can be used interchangeably; that is, they can be used instead of each other.


Make an approximate answer. Use the sign ≈ to mean approximately equal.


The numbers or quantities that are multiplied together to form a given product. 5 × 2 = 10, so 5 and 2 are factors of 10.


Part of the whole; a quantity less than one unit.


In a flat position, e.g. we are horizontal when we lie in a bed. A horizontal line goes across the page.

improper fraction

A common fraction with a value equal to or more than one.


Without end, without limit.


To turn upside down.

like fractions

With the same denominators.

lowest terms

When the terms of a common fraction or ratio do not have a common factor (except 1), the fraction or ratio is in lowest terms (also called simplest form).


The first number in a subtraction question.

mixed decimal

A whole number and a decimal fraction. 1.75

mixed number

A whole number and a common fraction. 1 3/4


If a certain number is multiplied by another number, the product is a multiple of the numbers. Think of the multiplication tables. For example, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14... are multiples of 2.


The number to be multiplied.


The number you multiply by.


Something which can be cashed, that is, exchanged or traded as money.


Numbers represent the amount, the place in a sequence; number is the idea of quantity or order.


The digits 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0 are also called numerals. These ten digits are combined to make infinite numerals. Digits are like letters, numerals are like words, and numbers are the meaning.


The top number in a common fraction; the numerator tells how many parts of the whole thing are being considered.


If the value of the cheques or money taken from a bank account is higher than the amount of money in the account, then the account is overdrawn. The account is "in the hole" or "in the red" are expressions sometimes used.


Two objects or lines side by side, never crossing and always the same distance from each other. Railway tracks are parallel, the lines on writing paper are parallel.

percent (%)

For every one hundred.


The distance around the outside of a shape.

place value

We understand numbers by the way the digits (numerals) are arranged in relationship to each other and to the decimal point. Each position has a certain value. Our number system is a decimal system. The place value is based on ten.

prime number

A number that can only be divided evenly by itself and 1.


The result of a multiplying question, the answer.

Proper fraction

A common fraction with a value less than one.


Generally, proportion is a way of comparing a part of something to the whole thing. E.g., his feet are small in proportion to his height. In mathematics, proportion is used to describe two or more ratios that are equivalent to each other.


The result of a division question; the quotient tells how many times one number is contained in the other.


The distance from the centre of a circle to the outside of the circle.


The relationship between two or more quantities. E.g., the ratio of men to women in the armed forces is 10 to 3 (10:3)


A number, when multiplied by its reciprocal, equals 1. To find the reciprocal of a common fraction, invert it. ⅗ × ⁵⁄₃ = 1


Write a common fraction in lowest terms. Divide both terms by same factor.


The amount left when a divisor does not divide evenly into the dividend. The remainder must be less than the divisor.


In mathematics, a symbol that tells what operation is to be performed or what the relationship is between the numbers.

+ plus, means to add
− minus, means to subtract
× multiplied by, "times"
÷ divided by, division
= equal, the same quantity as
not equal
approximately equal
< less than
> greater than
less than or equal to
greater than or equal to


See reduce.


The amount that is taken away in a subtraction question.


The result of an addition question, the answer to an addition question.


A written or printed mark, letter, abbreviation etc. that stands for something else.


a) A definite period of time, such as a school term or the term of a loan.

b) Conditions of a contract; the terms of the agreement.

c) In mathematics, the quantities in a fraction and in a ratio are called the terms of the fraction or the terms of the ratio. In an algebra equation, the quantities connected by a + or − sign are also called terms.


The amount altogether.


One piece of business. A transaction often involves money. When you pay a bill, take money from the bank or write a cheque, you have made a transaction.


Any fixed quantity, amount, distance or measure that is used as a standard. In mathematics, always identify the unit with which you are working. E.g., 3 km, 4 cups, 12 people, $76, 70 books, 545 g.

unit price

The price for a set amount. E.g., price per litre, price per gram.

unlike fractions

Fractions which have different denominators.


In an up and down position, e.g., we are vertical when we are standing up. On a page, a vertical line is shown from the top to the bottom of the page.


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Adult Literacy Fundamental Mathematics: Book 5 - 2nd Edition Copyright © 2023 by Liz Girard; Wendy Tagami; and Leanne Caillier-Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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