Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: unit vs unity

  1. #1
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Brazil
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,512
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default unit vs unity

    In math(s) it is easy to define the words 'unit' and 'unity' to have plain distinct meanings.
    For example usually in algebra one defines 'unity' as a multiplicative identity and 'unit' as an element having a multiplicative inverse.

    Regarding common everyday English I ask whether these two words 'unit' and 'unity' have different meanings or are used as synonyms? If they are used as synonyms, which one is more used?

    PS Feel free to correct any mistakes in this post

  2. #2
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    4,804
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: unit vs unity

    Unit is used as in the sciences, a degree or amount in measurement.

    Unity rarely means "=1" in spoken English, and usually refers to harmony and cooperation between two or more parties.

  3. #3
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Brazil
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,512
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: unit vs unity

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    Unit is used as in the sciences, a degree or amount in measurement.

    Unity rarely means "=1" in spoken English, and usually refers to harmony and cooperation between two or more parties.
    Thanks konungursvia. If the word unity rarely means "=1" in spoken English is there another one used instead?

    By the way I just remembered another similar word wich also has a precise meaning in math(s): 'unitary' (for example a unitary matrix has unity determinant). So, is the word 'unitary' also used in spoken English?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    2,036
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: unit vs unity

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    Thanks konungursvia. If the word unity rarely means "=1" in spoken English is there another one used instead?

    By the way I just remembered another similar word wich also has a precise meaning in math(s): 'unitary' (for example a unitary matrix has unity determinant). So, is the word 'unitary' also used in spoken English?
    unitary - This word doesn't sound like ordinary spoken English to me. It sounds like a technical word.

Similar Threads

  1. Harmony and unity
    By nguyentulinh in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 22-Apr-2009, 11:46
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-May-2007, 03:48
  3. Admission unit?
    By HaraKiriBlade in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 27-Sep-2005, 12:12
  4. thematic unit
    By Rose in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-Oct-2004, 11:13
  5. Clearing Central Unit or Central Clearing Unit
    By Abdul Jalil Ashaari in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 29-Jan-2003, 16:54

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •