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Homework Help: Basic proof writing question

  1. Sep 25, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    This isn't a homework problem, but I just had a general question about the language of writing proofs. I often see words like "suppose", "let", and "consider" in proofs. Could someone explain to me if there are rules to applying these? It doesn't seem like they are just randomly thrown in to start off a proof.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2009 #2


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    I don't know of any formal rules. English has a lot of flexibility. All three of those words could be used to accomplish the same thing:

    Suppose A is a right triangle, then the Pythagorean theorem...

    Let A be a right triangle, then the Pythagorean theorem...

    Consider a right triangle A. The Pythagorean theorem...

    They all three serve to establish the hypothesis that A is a right triangle.
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