Numbers and shapes

Anyone who works with any branch of science or technology needs to be able to talk about figures. Notice how the following are said in English.

All scientists and technologists also need to be able to talk about shapes. Note the names of the shapes below.

Two-dimensional shapes

A rectangle has four right angles.
A circle is cut in half by its diameter. Its two halves can be called semi-circles.
The radius of a circle is the distance from its centre to the circumference.

Three-dimensional shapes


The two halves of a sphere can be called hemispheres.

Here are the four basic processes of arithmetic.

+ addition – subtraction x multiplication division

Notice how these formulae would be read aloud.

2x+3y-z = 3z/4x Two x plus three y minus z equals three z divided by four x. or Three z over four x.
6 x 7 = 42 Six times seven is forty two. or Six sevens are forty two.