math/maths/mathematics

lyfiae

Member
Chinese
math vs. maths
1. Which is more frequently used? Any BrE/AmE preference?
2. While mathematics is the most formal, are these two formal as well? Do they have the same level of formality?

math/maths/mathematics
3. Does it matter whether we capitalize them? Does it make a difference?

Thank you!
 
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    ... AE math (or so I strongly suspect)...
    Your suspicion is correct. The informal short form of mathematics in AE is math.

    As far as I'm aware, "maths" and "math" have the same level of formality. The only difference between them is the variety of English in which each is used.

    These words are capitalized only where the rules of English require any word to be capitalized: when they start a sentence, when they are part of a name ("Jason Bell, Professor of Mathematics at Simon Fraser University") and so on.
     

    Miss Julie

    Senior Member
    English-U.S.
    Your suspicion is correct. The informal short form of mathematics in AE is math.

    As far as I'm aware, "maths" and "math" have the same level of formality. The only difference between them is the variety of English in which each is used.

    These words are capitalized only where the rules of English require any word to be capitalized: when they start a sentence, when they are part of a name ("Jason Bell, Professor of Mathematics at Simon Fraser University") and so on.
    Or the title of an educational course: "Sarah is enrolled in the Mathematics 101 course at Truman College."
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Or the title of an educational course: "Sarah is enrolled in the Mathematics 101 course at Truman College."
    Yes, so you would capitalise the word if you're referring to it as a subject in school too, eg 'I'm taking English Literature, Geography and Maths for my A levels'.
     

    scrotgrot

    Senior Member
    English - English
    Unlike a lot of words, this distinction is very important: literally nobody uses math in Britain, and it's one of the more jarring markers of American-ness. I suspect the reverse is true across the pond. Trust me, there are no shades of grey (gray?!) on this one.

    I'm not sure what they use in the Commonwealth, I'd expect math in Canada but maths in India.
     
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