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In mathematics education, a **number sentence** is typically an equation or inequality expressed using numbers and common symbols. The term is used in primary level mathematics teaching in the US,^{[1]} Canada, UK,^{[2]} Australia, New Zealand^{[3]} and South Africa.^{[4]}

The term is used as means of asking students to write down equations using simple mathematical symbols (numerals, the four main basic mathematical operators, equality symbol).^{[5]} Sometimes boxes or shapes are used to indicate unknown values. As such number sentences are used to introduce students to notions of structure and algebra prior to a more formal treatment of these concepts.

A number sentence without unknowns is equivalent to a logical proposition expressed using the notation of arithmetic.

A valid number sentence that is true: 3+10=13 A valid number sentence is 3+3=6 A valid number sentence that is false: 1 + 1 = 0.

A valid number sentence using a 'less than' symbol: 3 + 6 < 10.

An example from a lesson plan:

Some students will use a direct computational approach. They will carry out the addition 26 + 39 = 65, put 65 = 26 + □, and then find that □ = 39.

^{[6]}

**^**Show Me That Number Sentence**^**http://www.qca.org.uk/downloads/3420_maths_glossary_ks1_4.pdf**^**http://www.mceetya.edu.au/verve/_resources/SOL_Mathematics_2006.pdf**^**Mathematics Final**^**number sentence**^**Mathematics Continuum - Structure - Equivalence - Learning and Teaching Resources - Prep to Year 10 - Student Learning - Department of Education and Early Childhood Development