# Expression (mathematics)

## Formula that represents a mathematical object / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In mathematics, an **expression** or **mathematical expression** is a finite combination of symbols that is well-formed according to rules that depend on the context. Mathematical symbols can designate numbers (constants), variables, operations, functions, brackets, punctuation, and grouping to help determine order of operations and other aspects of logical syntax.

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Many authors distinguish an expression from a *formula*, the former denoting a mathematical object, and the latter denoting a statement about mathematical objects.^{[citation needed]} For example, $8x-5$ is an expression, while $8x-5\geq 5x-8$ is a formula. However, in modern mathematics, and in particular in computer algebra, formulas are viewed as expressions that can be evaluated to *true* or *false*, depending on the values that are given to the variables occurring in the expressions. For example $8x-5\geq 5x-8$ takes the value *false* if x is given a value less than –1, and the value *true* otherwise.