# Thread: Sum or problem?

1. ## Sum or problem?

Can I say 'sum' about any maths problem, even if it's not with adding numbers?
t.e.: At maths lessons children do sums and learn to think logically.
(or should it here be better 'do maths problems'?)

Thank you in advance.

2. ## Re: Sum or problem?

I associate sums with arithmetic.

3. ## Re: Sum or problem?

Originally Posted by Romeo4755
Can I say 'sum' about any maths problem, even if it's not with adding numbers?
t.e.: At maths lessons children do sums and learn to think logically.
(or should it here be better 'do maths problems'?)

Thank you in advance.
Sums usually involve addition; saying 'sums' to mean 'maths' is childish. For example, in the first year of secondary school children have to be taught (often by peer pressure/ridicule) not to say 'sums' (which they used to say at primary school). My maths master used to use 'sums' in a jocular way to refer to maths, but he was always smiling when he said it.

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4. ## Re: Sum or problem?

Thank you very much for the explanation and for the interesting situations illustrating it.

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