What Are the Numbers Called in an Addition Problem?

The numbers to add in an addition problem are called addends, summands or terms, while the answer to the problem is the sum. In the number sentence a+b=c, a and b are addends, while c is the sum.

Addition follows several rules of arithmetic. Addition is cumulative, so the order in which one adds the summands does not affect the sum. This is represented mathematically as a+b=b+a. Addition is associative when adding three or more addends, allowing the person adding the numbers to choose to add them in any order, so (a+b)+c=a+(b+c). Addition is considered the simplest of math operations, with young toddlers having the ability to learn to add small numbers.