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I first asked this on english.stackexchange.com, but this site would probably be a better-suited to answer it:

In division, we have a dividend and a divisor.

According to this page, we also have

  • minuend and subtrahend
  • augend and addend
  • multiplicand and multiplier

which are rarely used because order doesn't matter for those operations.

Is there a term for the "second" number in any arithmetic operation? It would be a word that could mean "subtrahend," or "addend," or "multiplier" interchangeably. Something like "mathematicaloperationend."

The English folks have suggested "second operand," "secondary," and as fallbacks "parameter" and "argument." "Second operand" is the most correct but I was wondering if there is a single term that covers all of these "-end" words.

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  • $\begingroup$ Velcome to the site! $\endgroup$ – kjetil b halvorsen May 21 '14 at 8:42
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    $\begingroup$ I had a prof who used loperand and roperand for the left and right operands, but I don't know how standard those terms are. $\endgroup$ – David H May 21 '14 at 9:05
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidH I like those! $\endgroup$ – Jackson May 27 '14 at 23:54
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Funnily enough, a commonly used term is "term." So for example "Consider the second term of the following equation."

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Is there a term for the "second" number in any arithmetic operation?

Normally, math is written with infix notation.

a = b + c

In computer programming, we have a generic name for them,

  • With regard to the + addition

    • we would say b is the left-hand-side or lhs
    • we would say c is the right-hand-side or rhs
  • The = in this context is also an assignment operator, written infix.

    • we would say a is the left-hand-side or lhs
    • we would say b + c is the right-hand-side or rhs

These words are everywhere. Some languages allow operators to exist that have nothing to do with math where the operation is business logic.

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I have decided to use "loperand" and "roperand" as-suggested-by David H.

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