Algebra Glossary: S

scientific notation: A standard way of writing very large and very small numbers as the product of two values — a number between 1 and 9 and a power of 10. Scientific notation follows the form N × 10a where N is a number from 1 up to 10, but not 10 itself, and a is an integer (positive or negative number).

sign: A symbol indicating whether a value is positive (+) or negative (−).

simple fraction: A fraction in which both the numerator and the denominator are whole numbers.

simplify: To combine all that can be combined in an expression or equation, and put it in its most easily understandable form.

solution of equation: Value(s) of a variable that make an equation a true statement.

solve: Find the answer or the number that a variable stands for.

square; perfect square: 1. The product of another number times itself. 2. A value with an exponent of 2.

square root: A value resulting when a given value is multiplied by itself.

substitution: A method of replacing a value with its equivalent.

symmetric property: A characteristic of equations that allows for the exchange of the value(s) on one side of the equal sign with the value(s) on the other side (quantities on the right go to the left; quantities on the left go to the right) without changing the truth of the equation: If x = y, then y = x.

synthetic division: A short-cut division process in which only the coefficients of the terms in an expression are used. The answer is obtained by multiplying and adding.

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