Symbols are
a **concise
way of giving
lengthy
instructions**
related to
numbers and
logic.

Symbols are
a communication
tool. Symbols
are used to
eliminate the
need to write
long, plain
language
instructions to
describe
calculations
and other
processes.

For example, a
single symbol
stands for the
entire process
for addition.
The familiar
plus sign
eliminates the
need for a long
written
explanation of
what addition
means and how
to accomplish
it.

The same
symbols are
used worldwide
. . .

The *symbols*
used in
mathematics are
*universal*.

The same math
symbols are
used throughout
the civilized
world. In most
cases each
symbol gives
the same clear,
precise meaning
to every
reader,
regardless of
the language
they speak.

The most
valuable,
**most
frequently used
Symbols** in
mathematics . .
.

The most
important, most
frequently used
*
Grouping*
symbols are
listed
below.

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Square
Bracket
Symbols
(also
called Box
Brackets)

Left
"["
square
brackets, and
right
"]"
square brackets
are used
together. They
can be
interchanged
with
parenthesis or
braces.

However, if
there are three
levels of
grouping in a
nested
expression,
generally
parentheses are
used in the
inner most
groupings.

Square brackets
are used in the
next higher
level grouping,
and braces are
used in the
most outer
groupings (see
"Nested
expressions"
for an
example).

Examples
using square
brackets

. . .
Click here to
see the three
examples
demonstrating
the use of
parentheses.

. . .
Replace the
parentheses
with square
backets in the
mathematical
expressions
illustrated.

. . . The
step-by-step
procedure for
evaluating
expressions
using square
brackets is
exactly the
same as the
step-by-step
procedure for
evaluating
expressions
using
parentheses.