Grouping SymbolsDate: 08/27/98 at 18:00:50 From: Ashley Allen Subject: Grouping symbols I need the name of four grouping symbols. I already know of parentheses and brackets so that takes care of two. I also need to know what the missing two symbols look like, if that is possible. Date: 08/28/98 at 09:14:59 From: Doctor Peterson Subject: Re: Grouping symbols Hi, Ashley. There are three main grouping symbols, and one other that's used in just a few special cases these days, plus a few other things that are occasionally used to group parts of an expression. The three main ones are parentheses (), brackets [], and braces {}. The other one is the vinculum, a line over an expression, which was used often in the Middle Ages but now is found in just two places I can think of: as part of a square root, grouping together the expression you take the square root of: _____ \/12+4 and in repeating decimals: ______ 1/7 = 0.142857 Some people also consider the fraction bar to be a vinculum, which is how it originated, since it also groups the numerator and denominator together without needing parentheses around them: 3+45 ------ 21+2 Another symbol that occasionally has a grouping function as part of its job is the absolute value bars: |5-16| Each of these symbols also has other more specific uses in some contexts. Parentheses are used for functions, brackets are used to mean "largest integer less than" and to surround matrices, braces are used for sets, and bars are used for determinants. I hope that's more than you wanted to know, and that the vinculum is the fourth symbol you were supposed to find. If you find a better one, let me know! - Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum Check out our web site! http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ TimeStamp: 09/24/98 at 18:55:26 From: The Allen Family Subject: Thanks Doctor Peterson, Thank you very much for answering my question about grouping symbols. |
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