Math or Maths – Which One to Use?

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Math or Maths Which One to Use

When discussing the wide world of numbers, I’ve seen some English speakers have confusion over whether to use the term “math” or “maths.” Sure, both terms are used as abbreviations for the word “mathematics,” but the way they’re used varies depending on where you live or what regional audience you’re dealing with. So, hang tight as I quickly explain the differences between math and maths.

Is It Math or Maths?

Math vs Maths Ngram
Math and maths usage trend.

Both are technically right! While “math” is more common, “maths” is totally acceptable to use, as well, for the short version of the word mathematics. So, why the two?

Differences in the Spelling of Math vs. Maths

American English Math vs Maths Ngram
American English math and maths usage trend.

The choice to use “math” and “maths” will wholly depend on the regional preferences at hand. In the United States and Canada, the shorter “math” is the more commonly used of the two options. But in the UK, Australia, and any other English-speaking countries, “maths” is what they prefer.

British English Math vs Maths Ngram
British English math and maths usage trend.

When to Use Math

Use “math” when writing or speaking to an American or Canadian audience, as it is the standard term in these countries. In general, “math” is the more common abbreviation in North America.

When to Use Maths

Use “maths” when writing or speaking to audiences in the United Kingdom, Australia, and other English-speaking countries outside of North America. “Maths” is the standard term in these regions and is more likely to be understood and accepted by the audience.

Is Math Singular or Plural?

“Math” and “maths” are both shortened forms of “mathematics,” which is a mass noun. But the two abbreviations should always be treated as singular nouns in everyday usage. So, basically, when using either “math” or “maths” in a sentence, you should pair them with singular verbs.

  • Math was one of my worst subjects in school.
  • Maths wasn’t my favorite subject in school.

Is Maths a Noun or Verb?

“Maths” is definitely a noun, not a verb, even though it may look like one. The only way to make “math” or “maths” a verb is to add -ing to them, which doesn’t exist in formal contexts. But I’ve used it myself in a casual, humorous way, like with memes showing someone having difficulty doing math, and it says, “Mathing is so hard.”

What Is the Technical Abbreviation for Mathematics?

The technical and more widely accepted abbreviation for the mass noun mathematics is “math” in both America and Canada, and “maths” is used in the United Kingdom, Australia, etc. But those are just preferences. Both versions of the word are accepted anywhere because they’re both correct.

Math and Maths Examples in a Sentence

Math or Maths Which One to Use 1
  • My son excels in math and plans to major in it at college, which shouldn’t be a problem because he’s been on the honor roll for three years now. (American English)
  • Our math teacher explained the new concept with so much enthusiasm that it was hard to ignore. (American English)
  • His lack of math skills was evident after seeing his test score. (American English)
  • My least favorite subject in school was always math. (American English)
  • My daughter uses computer-based math tutorials to help her with homework. (American English)
  • The maths competition gained students from all over the British Isles. (British English)
  • Darcy struggled with maths until she found a tutor who could help her on weekends. (British English)
  • The new curriculum proposes teachers focus on improving students’ maths skills above all else. (British English)

It’s All About Numbers

There you go! Don’t let anyone tell you not to use maths or math as the shortened version of mathematics because both are right. But if you’re dealing with American English or Canadian English contexts, use “math” just to be regionally correct.

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