# Subtraction Definitions With A Simple Example

## Math Symbols: Plus, Minus, Multiply, Divide, And Exponent

In arithmetic a math symbol shows what math operation is to be applied to a set of numbers. Below is a detailed discussion of these symbols. Along with the Math Symbols page, it is recommended the reader read the following pages for a more complete understanding of the subject: Equation Equality and Inequality, Math Symbols Precedence PEMDAS.

- Addition math symbols in arithmetic:
**Plus Sign**or**Addition Sign**(**+**)

The plus sign is a math symbol used to represent positive numbers or the summing of numbers. Examples:

(a) plus sign shows 5 is a positive number: +5

(b) plus sign shows adding numbers: 2 + 3 = 5 - Subtraction math symbols in arithmetic:
**Minus Sign**or**Subtraction Sign**(**-**)

The minus sign is a math symbol used to represent negative numbers or taking the difference of two numbers. Examples:

(a) minus sign shows 5 is a negative number: -5

(b) minus sign shows subtracting numbers: 5 - 3 = 2 - Multiplication math symbols in arithmetic:
**Multiply Sign**or**Multiplication Sign**(**×**or*****)

Multiplication is a another way of writing certain types of addition problems. The multiplication of two whole numbers is equivalent to the addition of one of them with itself as many times as the value of the other one. Example:

(a) 3 × 4 = 12

(b) or stated as an addition problem (3 added together four times):

(c) 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 12 - Division math symbols in arithmetic:
**Divide Sign**or**Division Sign**(**÷**or**/**)

The division (÷) sign, placed between two numbers showing that the first is to be divided by the second, as in 12 ÷ 3 = 4; also the slash (/) sign is an symbol for division. Division can be viewed as the opposite of multiplication. Example:

(a) Multiplication: 3 x 4 = 12

(b) Division: 12 ÷ 3 = 4

(c) Division: 12 / 3 = 4

- Exponents math symbols in arithmetic:
**Exponents**(**^**)

The exponent of a number says how many times to use that number in a multiplication. It is written as a small number to the right and above the base number. For example:

(a) 2^{3}= 2 × 2 x 2 = 8

(b) or shown another way: 2^3 = 2 x 2 x 2 = 8.