A new UK Government took office on 11 May 2010. As a result the content on this site may not reflect current Government policy.
All statutory guidance and legislation published on this site continues to reflect the current legal position unless indicated otherwise.
To view the new website, please visit http://www.education.gov.uk

Mathematical vocabulary checklists: Reception to Year 6

Page 1 of 7

Reception 

Counting and recognising numbers

Counting

number
zero, one, two, three… to twenty and beyond
zero, ten, twenty… one hundred
none
how many…?
count, count (up) to
count on (from, to)
count back (from, to)
count in ones, twos… tens…
more, less, many, few
odd, even
every other
how many times?
pattern, pair
guess how many, estimate
nearly, close to, about the same as
just over, just under
too many, too few, enough, not enough

Comparing and ordering numbers

the same number as, as many as
Of two objects/amounts:
greater, more, larger, bigger
less, fewer, smaller
Of three or more objects/amounts:
greatest, most, biggest, largest
least, fewest, smallest
one more, ten more
one less, ten less
compare
order
size
first, second, third… tenth
last, last but one
before, after
next
between
above, below

Adding and subtracting

add, more, and
make, sum, total
altogether
score
double
one more, two more, ten more…
how many more to make… ?
how many more is… than…?
take (away), leave
how many are left/left over?
how many have gone?
one less, two less… ten less…
how many fewer is… than…?
difference between
is the same as

Solving problems

Reasoning about numbers or shapes
pattern
puzzle
answer
right, wrong
what could we try next?
how did you work it out?
count, sort
group, set
match
same, different
list

Problems involving 'real life' or money

compare
double
half, halve
pair
count out, share out
left, left over
money
coin
penny, pence, pound
price
cost
buy
sell
spend, spent
pay
change
dear, costs more
cheap, costs less, cheaper
costs the same as
how much…? how many…?
total

Measures, shape and space

Measures (general)

measure
size
compare
guess, estimate
enough, not enough
too much, too little
too many, too few
nearly, close to, about the same as
just over, just under

Length

length, width, height, depth
long, short, tall
high, low
wide, narrow
deep, shallow
thick, thin
longer, shorter, taller, higher… and so on
longest, shortest, tallest, highest… and so on
far, near, close

Mass

weigh, weighs, balances
heavy/light, heavier/lighter, heaviest/lightest
balance, weight, scales

Capacity

full
half full
empty
holds
container

Time

time
days of the week: Monday, Tuesday…
day, week
birthday, holiday
morning, afternoon, evening, night
bedtime, dinnertime, playtime
today, yesterday, tomorrow
before, after
next, last
now, soon, early, late
quick, quicker, quickest, quickly
slow, slower, slowest, slowly
old, older, oldest
new, newer, newest
takes longer, takes less time
hour, o'clock
clock, watch, hands

Exploring patterns, shape and space

shape, pattern
flat
curved, straight
round
hollow, solid
corner
face, side, edge, end
sort
make, build, draw

3D shapes

cube
pyramid
sphere
cone

2D shapes

circle
triangle
square
rectangle
star

Patterns and symmetry

size
bigger, larger, smaller
symmetrical
pattern
repeating pattern
match

Position, direction and movement

position
over, under
above, below
top, bottom, side
on, in
outside, inside
around
in front, behind
front, back
before, after
beside, next to
opposite
apart
between
middle, edge
corner
direction
left, right
up, down
forwards, backwards, sideways
across
close, far, near
along
through
to, from, towards, away from
movement
slide
roll
turn
stretch, bend

Instructions

listen
join in
say

think
imagine
remember

start from
start with
start at

look at
point to
show me

put, place
fit
arrange
rearrange
change, change over
split
separate

carry on, continue
repeat
what comes next?

find
choose
collect

use
make
build
tell me
describe
pick out
talk about
explain
show me

read
write
trace
copy
complete
finish, end

fill in
shade
colour

tick, cross
draw
draw a line between
join (up)
ring

cost
count
work out
answer
check

General

same number/s
different number/s
missing number/s
number facts
number line, number track
number square
number cards
counters, cubes, blocks, rods
die, dice
dominoes
pegs, peg board
same way, different way
best way, another way
in order, in a different order

not
all, every, each

Comments

Would you like to comment?

Register for an account, or log in if you are already a member