The Symbols

The Symbols
The Symbols

In today's article we are going to talk about symbols, those abbreviations that correspond to concepts that have a scientific-technical character. These abbreviations are made up of letters or signs that do not belong to the alphabet.

Normally, the symbols are created by convention and are valid in all countries, although it is also true that some of them vary according to the language used in the different geographical areas.


Example: In Spanish-speaking countries the symbol for the west cardinal point is O, while internationally the symbol W is used, an abbreviation of the word in English West.

Symbols referring to: are very common

– Units of measurement: m, kg, lx, y, km, l, etc.

– Chemical elements: Au, Ni, Cl, Cu, Ag, etc.

– Math Concepts: +, -, %,=, etc.

– Books of the Bible: Gn, Ex, Lv, etc.

We can distinguish symbols from abbreviations by the following questions:

– Symbols, unlike abbreviations, are written without a period at the end.


Na: symbol.

Cap.: abbreviation.

– They never have a tilde, while abbreviations have it when the word being abbreviated has it.


Area: a (symbol).

Number: Number (abbreviation).

– Symbols do not have a plural.


Symbol: My father weighs 79 Kg.

Abbreviation: This book has 400 pages

In general, symbols are built with the first letter o of the word.


Hydrogen: H

Nickel: Ni

The use of uppercase or lowercase follows the following guidelines:

– Cardinal directions are capitalized.

– Chemical elements are capitalized if they consist of only one letter, and capitalized followed by lowercase if they consist of two letters.

– Units of measure are usually written in lowercase.

– Currency units are capitalized.

Finally, we will say that the symbols generally, if they accompany numbers, are written after them and with a blank space between the number and the symbol. The symbols belonging to degrees (º) and percentages (%) are excepted.

Below, as examples, we show some of the existing symbols:

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