Symbols in Algebra

Common Symbols Used in Algebra

Symbols save time and space when writing. Here are the most common algebraic symbols:

Symbol Meaning Example
+ add 3+7 = 10
- subtract 5-2 = 3
× multiply 4×3 = 12
multiply symbol multiply (so "×" does not look like "x") 4·3 = 12
/ divide 20/5 = 4
radical symbol square root ("radical") √4 = 2
cube root symbol cube root  
nth root symbol nth root  
( ) grouping symbols (round brackets) 2(a-3)
[ ] grouping symbols (square brackets) 2[ a-3(b+c) ]
{ } set symbols (curly brackets) {1,2,3}
= equals 1+1 = 2
approximately equal symbol approximately equal to π approximately equal symbol3.14
not equal to π 2
< ≤ less than, less than or equal to 2 < 3
> ≥ greater than, greater than or equal to 5 > 1
implies symbol implies (if ... then) a and b are oddimplies symbola+b is even
iff symbol "if and only if" or iff or "is equivalent to" x=y+1iff symboly=x−1
therefore symbol Therefore a=b therefore b=a