Number or digit: how to say it correctly and what is the difference

Yulia PoteriankoLife
In this picture, you see one number and two digits

When we use certain terms, we do not always delve deeply into the exact meaning of these words and, accordingly, make mistakes. An example of such a mistake is the pair of words "number" and "digit," which are synonymous from the point of view of an average speaker. But in terms of language and mathematics, they are completely different concepts.

Linguist and educator Oleksandr Avramenko decided to explain the difference. According to him, numbers are only ten characters - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0. They are used in various combinations and with additional signs to denote numbers. For example, a minus sign denotes negative numbers, and a horizontal or slash, as well as a comma, denotes fractions.

So, 10 can no longer be a digit, only a number. It is not a sign by itself but a combination of two signs: one and zero.

In simple words: a number is a quantity, and a digit is a sign to indicate a quantity. Just like words are made up of letters, numbers are made up of digits. So, a number can have any number of digits. For example, one, as in the case of the digit 3, which turns into a number when it describes the number of letters in the word "sleep." And -7 can be a number that describes the air temperature. When there are several digits and/or they contain other signs, we are talking about a number.

By the way, there is more than one system for writing numbers. We usually use Arabic numerals, but Roman numerals are also quite common: I, V, X, L, C, D, M. And in some languages, such as Hebrew, ancient Greek, and Church Slavonic, there is a system of writing numbers with letters.

Earlier, OBOZ.UA told you how to correctly name colors in Ukrainian when it comes to horses.

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