Juan:'I know I should know this, but how do you say this symbol ' - ' in a calculation in English?'
Peter:'In English we call the ' - ' symbol minus, for example, 6 minus 3. You can also say the same calculation in a different way by using a verb and saying subtract 6 by 3.'
Juan:'And the ' + ' symbol?'
Peter:'The ' + ' symbol is called plus, for example, 7 plus 2 is 9. You can also say the same calculation in a different way by using the verb add, for example, add 7 to 2. Another type of calculation is division, which is represented by the symbol ' ÷ '. But when you use it in the middle of a calculation, you say divided by. For example, 6 divided by 3 equals 2. Another way to say this calculation is by saying divide 6 by 3.'
Juan:'I know that the ' × ' symbol is called times in a calculation, like 2 times 4 equals 8. But what is the verb?'
Peter:'We normally use multiply as the verb, for example, multiply 2 by 4. You use these verbs when you are instructing somebody to do a calculation or explaining to them how you did it.'
Juan:'There are a few other things that I'd like to check with you. How do you say a number below zero, for example, -1.052?'
Peter:'You would say minus 1 point zero five two. You need to remember that in English when you say the number that comes after the decimal point '.', you say each number individually. For example, you would say the number 14.315, fourteen point three one five.'
Juan:'Thanks. The last question I have is, say I eat 20 apples in June, 22 apples in July and 26 apples in August. Is there a better of saying, I normally eat 23 apples each month?'
Peter:'Yes, there is. Instead of saying normally, you could say average. So, on average I eat 23 apples per month.'