# a simple rule that says, “<Output> the number of sides.” [IT; function]

#### VicNicSor

##### Banned
For example, let’s say that the input set of a function is a list of common polygon names like {triangle, square, pentagon, hexagon and octagon}. The function itself could be a simple rule that says, “Output the number of sides.” That means, if we input “triangle” into the function, the output will be 3. And if we input “square” the output will be 4. If we input “pentagon”, the output will be 5, and so on…
Algebra Basics: What Are Functions?, video by mathantics
click

I think "output" here is a verb, right? If so, is it correct to call this phrase -- Output the number of sides.” -- a "rule"?
Thank you.

• #### heypresto

##### Senior Member
In ordinary language, we would probably say something like "'Give' or 'State' the number of sides", but in this context, where functions have 'inputs' and 'outputs', then 'input' and 'output' seem appropriate as verbs.

I suppose 'instruction' might be a better word than 'rule'. But then, in this context, maybe it's the correct word?

Thank you !

#### Glasguensis

##### Signal Modulation
Output is a common verb in IT, and this text is using IT terms in describing a function. Technically the "rule" is the correspondance between the inputs and outputs shown in the table, but here it is being expressed as an instruction because it is easier to express.

#### JulianStuart

##### Senior Member
Output is a common verb in IT, and this text is using IT terms in describing a function. Technically the "rule" is the correspondance between the inputs and outputs shown in the table, but here it is being expressed as an instruction because it is easier to express.
Collins has this as a separate entry under rule in the WR dictionary (see my sig)

1. a prescribed method or procedure for solving a mathematical problem, or one constituting part of a computer program, usually expressed in an appropriate formalism

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