what does the word [n] mean in math

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Borys Shumyatskiy | College Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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Hello!

For real number `x,` the symbol `[x]` means the integer part of `x,` i.e. the largest integer number not greater than `x.`

In decimal notation for positive `x=n.mkl...,`

`[x]=n.`

For example, `[2.1]=2.`

 

For negative `x=-n.mkl...`

`[x]=-n-1` if some numbers `m, k, l, ...` aren't zero.


For example, `[-2.1]=-3.`

 

For any integer `x`    `[x]=x.`

 

Sometimes this function is called floor function and is denoted `|__x__|.`

The ceiling function is defined as the smallest integer not less than `x` and is denoted `|~x~|.`

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