posted by murrayjames on May 2, 2014 | 5 comments
What is the difference between 变量 and 变数? Both words translate to "variable" in English.

My limited understanding is that 变量 is used for variables in algebra and computer programming languages, while 变数 is usually used metaphorically.

So in the sentence, x + y = 3, x and y are both 变量.

But if you wanted to say that a situation has many variables, you would use 变数.

Is this right?
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815185609 on May 2, 2014 | reply
Hello, I'm a Chinese man.I think your understanding is right.Only one thing I want to mention is that when we Chinese say"变数" we always mean something bad may happen."情况多变"will be used if it points to a situation has many aspects.

er,my English is not very well.I don't konw whether you can catch me. :)
Elementary on May 2, 2014 | reply
@murrayjames,

变量 and 变数 are interchangeable in Math or computer science. For instance, X+Y=2, X and Y can be called both 变量 and 变数.

Although, 变数 has more meanings than 变量 - as you mentioned - it's usually used metaphorically. It means variables or something irregular or unexpected.

i.e. 人生的道路上充满了变数;定好的计划却出现了变数.

--Grace
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