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I am from Vietnam and have just transferred to Australia. And I have a lot of trouble with understanding the way people use "verbal expressions on mathematics operations (addition, subtraction,...). I am in advanced math; it's not a problem with doing math but a problem with vocabulary.

It's familiar when they say :"1 plus 1 equals 2" to express 1+1=2. But then sometimes I heard they said :"1 increased by 1 equals 2". Or when they use the phrase "one subtracted by one is zero", "subtracted from" instead of "minus". It's just that I hardly fully understand what my teacher say and I am very afraid to misunderstand or miss something in the future. Furthermore, I have been looking in the dictionary and some words that is not even has the structure as what my teacher write such as "4 subtracted by 2 equals 2"

Could anyone recommend a Internet source or a book on this topic (with examples of using the words) ?

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    $\begingroup$ I don't think any source will help you with such ridiculous usage as "4 subtracted by 2". Did a teacher actually say that? $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Feb 26 '17 at 8:21
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, the full explanation was :"If we divide 4 by 2, we get 2. In subtraction, we can use this phrase to express 4-2=2 by saying subtract 4 by 2 or 4 minus 2" This was one I was in my homeland. He came from Philippines. But the important thing is that I still use "4 minus 2" because I don't know any resource verify "4 subtracted by 2" $\endgroup$ – PandoraU.U.D Feb 26 '17 at 8:48
  • $\begingroup$ I just need a name of a book that teach this matter (reliable sources textbook) because I am not a native English speaker, I don't know which is wrong or correct (though I am fully comprehend the words). $\endgroup$ – PandoraU.U.D Feb 26 '17 at 8:50
  • $\begingroup$ The Macquarie Dictionary. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Feb 26 '17 at 8:56
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I can't seem to think of an easy reference for this. It is a real problem if the language is a barrier. Some expressions like "4 subtracted by 2" doesn't make sense regardless of the type of English, because you subtract something from something else, not by something. You do divide by though. You may just have to commit to memory the various ways locals express mathematics in verse form.

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