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Basic Math Notation

  1. Aug 2, 2011 #1
    When you start a new line in solving an equation (or any math problem), is there a symbol you should start of with? I usually use an equal or therefore sign but sometimes it doesn't seem appropriate and I just end up using a little arrow

    Say I had to rearrange this equation (ab)/2 = c to make a the subject , what would I write in front of the first and subsequent lines of working? Just leave it blank?

    (ab)/2 = c
    <--- what goes here? (ab) = 2c..etc.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 2, 2011 #2


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    Science Advisor

    You can use ∴ (which means http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therefore_sign" [Broken]) but personally I wouldn't bother. Remember you get marks for your working, clarity and expression, not typography quirks.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  4. Aug 2, 2011 #3


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    Gold Member

    why would you need to have ANYTHING go there? Your second line of "(ab) = 2c" does not need anything in front of it, nor do subsequent lines.

    I suppose when you get to the final line you could preceded it with the "therefore" dots, but as pwsnafu said, I don't think most people bother.
  5. Aug 2, 2011 #4
    Thank you
  6. Aug 2, 2011 #5

    I like Serena

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    Homework Helper

    Actually, I'm used to the symbol [itex]\Rightarrow[/itex] to show how one equation follows from a previous one (as opposed to [itex]\rightarrow[/itex] which indicate a logical implication within a statement).
    This helps distinguishing it from when you start new lines of reasoning.
  7. Aug 2, 2011 #6
    When you start writing a new line in a paragraph (not because your sentence didn't fit on the previous line, but because you're beginning a new phrase), you don't do anything but indent, right? This just makes reading easier on the eye. I actually indent very slightly when going from a paragraph to a series of implications, equalities, etc.
  8. Aug 2, 2011 #7
    I always use [itex]\Rightarrow[/itex] in such contexts.

    I think it is better to use a symbol. Writing nothing in front of it can cause the text to be hard to read...
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