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So I think it might make more sense to just say sufficiently small. Then when we look at something like a derivative dy/dx we can look at the sufficiently small value of x more closely by finding the limit as change in x approaches 0.

So can differentials like dy and dx be thought of as suffiently small changes in y and x?

In calculus I was told that these things had no meaning on their own, but they seemed to be used quite a bit on their own in both calculus and physics. This was never really explained very clearly. I often see answers saying that it’s too complicated or unimportant for early calculus classes, but we have to use these differentials so that’s always a bit irritating.