1. ## to do sums

When someone says he likes arithmetic and likes to do sums, does "to do sums" mean like multiplication, division, subtraction and addition or only addition?
thank you

2. ## Re: to do sums

It's usually only children who talk about doing sums. They mean all four of those operations – not just addition.

Adults say they like maths (AE math).

3. ## Re: to do sums

Originally Posted by Rover_KE
It's usually only children who talk about doing sums. They mean all four of those operations – not just addition.

Adults say they like maths (AE math).

Thank you, but what do i call these:

2x2=4
4/2=2
2+2=4
4-2=2

are these still called sums, even if it's an adult speaking?

4. ## Re: to do sums

I would only call addition "sums."

5. ## Re: to do sums

I am not a teacher.

And I wouldn't call any of it maths. It's arithmetic.

These are arithmetical sums/problems/operations.

6. ## Re: to do sums

They are all math for me,

7. ## Re: to do sums

I am not a teacher.

Arithmetic is the branch of mathematics that deals with this sort of simple manipulation of numbers.

8. ## Re: to do sums

I'm with Dave. I think we understand that "arithmetic" is a subset of "math(s)" but I would never say "I like arithmetic" or "I'm struggling with the arithmetic" or anything like that. I'd just say "math." Must be the American perspective.

9. ## Re: to do sums

What do you call it when you do the calculation in your head?

I call it mental arithmetic.

10. ## Re: to do sums

Just last night, I said to someone (referring to my husband), "He can do math in his head faster than anyone I know."

I do agree that "mental arithmetic" does collocate, but on its own, I don't use the word much, if at all.

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