What Is a Conditional Statement in Math?

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A conditional statement in math is a statement in the if-then form. Conditional statements, often called conditionals for short, are used extensively in a form of logic called deductive reasoning. Students usually study conditionals and their variations in a high school geometry course.

1 Example

An example of a conditional statement is, "If it rains, then the grass will grow."

2 Features

The "if" part of a conditional statement is called the hypothesis, and the "then" part is called the conclusion. In the example presented earlier, the hypothesis is "it rains" and the conclusion is "the grass will grow."

3 Identification

The general form of a conditional statement is written as "if p, then q" where p represents the hypothesis and q represents the conclusion.

4 Misconceptions

A conditional statement doesn't necessarily have to contain the words "if" and "then." The previous example can be written as, "The grass will grow when it rains."

5 Considerations

Some conditional statements are true, and some are false. Sometimes it isn't known whether a conditional is true or false.

Linda Hinkle has been a writer since 2004. She spent 29 years teaching mathematics in public high schools and now maintains a private tutoring practice. In addition to writing about education and parenting issues, she writes mathematics assessment and test prep items. Hinkle is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas, where she earned a bachelor's degree in education.