# Math vs Arithmetic – Difference Between Math and Arithmetic

Arithmetic is the basics of the abstract science of numbers and operations on them, while math consists of both the basics, intermediate, and fundamental science of numbers.

Technically, these two, math and arithmetic, are almost the same. According to some intellectuals, the latter is simply one of the aspects of the former. You can also describe it as the introduction to the science of numbers and the fundamental preparation needed to understand the advanced level of it.

In this article, we are going to discuss what is the difference between math and arithmetic that has left so many thinkers thinking!

## Definition of Math – So What Is Math?

Math is defined as an extensive branch of science that has to do with the study of numbers, symbols, and signs. It also covers the analysis of an element or situation concerning quantity, structure, changes, and space. This concept of numbers and symbols is so large that it is virtually applicable in every walk of life.

There are many other ways that one can define this subject according to different scholars and dictionary publications, all of which centers on numbers and their manipulation, but the truth remains that it has almost no accepted definition. This is probably a result of its wild application in every walk of life.

At the introductory level of this subject, you are expected to know the math vs arithmetic differences, if there is one, that is. They are basically the same, but for the sake of clarity, the latter is used when referring to the preliminary level of the subject and the latter is used when referring to the advanced levels.

What are the branches of math?

To start with, arithmetic is the first branch of math. It is the oldest and most elementary. Other branches include algebra, trigonometry, geometry, analysis, number theory, set theory, calculus, statistics and probability, etc.

## Definition of Arithmetic – So What Is Arithmetic?

Arithmetic is defined as the oldest and the most elementary branch of mathematics that deals with properties and manipulation of numbers. Properties and manipulation of numbers in this context refer to introduction to number counting, and the use of the four basic operational symbols – addition (+), subtraction (-), division (÷), and multiplication (x).

A little bit of history, the word “arithmetic” originated from the Greek words “arithmetike” and “aithmos,” which translates to the art of counting and numbers respectively. In as much as it is the most elementary aspect of the science of numbers, it is also the most important of them all.

Most laypeople can do simple arithmetic when required of them. Children start to learn it right from a very tender age, and science has proven that it helps develop their intellectual capacities in diverse ways, including the development of passion, spatial intelligence, creativity, confidence, social skills, universal logic, and lots more.

In comparing arithmetic vs math, it is clear that the former is a branch of the latter. Also, in contextual application, everything that has to do with the science of numbers is referred to as math, which means that arithmetic is math. However, the reverse is not the case – you cannot refer to math as arithmetic – that would be an incomplete reference.

## What Is the Main Difference Between Math and Arithmetic?

To make things easier, we have made a simple table with the main differences between mathematics and arithmetic.

Basis of Comparison | Arithmetic | Math |

Definition | The oldest and the most elementary branch of mathematics that deals with properties and manipulation of numbers | A broad branch of science that deals with the study of numbers, symbols, and signs, as they affect the quantity, structure, space, and change of an element or situation |

Study | Typically studied among pupils in elementary schools who are still trying to grasp the concept of numbers and how they can be manipulated | Typically studied in the advanced levels of education by scholars who are ready to advance to more technical parts of the science of numbers |

Application | Applied in all walks of life | Applied only in professional settings that require technical abilities |

Deals with | Arithmetic is all about numbers | Math is all about theories |

Operations | Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division | Trigonometry, calculus, geometry, algebra, arithmetic |

Interchangeable | Arithmetic is interchangeable with math | Math is not interchangeable with arithmetic |

## So What’s the Difference Between Math and Arithmetic? – Conclusion

If you ask any kid, they will say that math is the trickiest subject to learn at school. They will also say how vast and difficult it is. However, arithmetic is simple as it involves only basic mathematical operations. That’s the main difference between them!

Mathematics is a subject that is divided into different parts like a tree and involves reading theorems of various great scholars, evidence about them, and theories.

Arithmetic can be called as a derivative of mathematics, which explains how we can add numbers, subtract them, multiply them, and divide them. Every one of us loves arithmetic for its simplicity. And those of us who don’t, have to love it to make simple, day-to-day calculations.