Explore BrainMass

Explanation of Mathematical Expressions Using Examples

I am confused with the concept of mathematical expressions. How can I tell when a collection of operations and numbers is an expression?

Is "234x + - ÷ 14 - 23 46 -" an expression? Can you help me understand this concept?


Solution Preview

A mathematical expression is a well-formed combination of symbols. An equation states that two expressions are different forms of the same thing. An equation is a logical statement that may be true or false. Here, "well formed" means the same thing as "makes sense."

Before I give you some mathematical examples, let's consider a simple English sentence:

The house on the corner is the same as the house where Bob lives.

In this sentence, "the house on the corner" and "the house where Bob lives" are both expressions about a house. We don't know if they are the same house or not. They are linked by "is the same as" (which means the same thing as "="). This may be true or false: Bob may live some place else.

Here are three (well-formed) mathematical expressions: 2 + 3, 1 + 4, 6. They are ...

Solution Summary

The concepts of mathematical expression and mathematical equation are discussed, and examples of both are given.