2 cpedit

Perhaps this question overlaps with similar ones, ... but I want to focus on a particular possible cause of confusion. I notice that students are often confused by the concepts of "infinite" and "unbounded". So, when asked if the set of invertible matrices is compact, they reply "no, because there are an infinite number of matrices with non zero determinant, therefore the set is unbounded". Actually this happens in italianItalian, where the corresponding words ("infinito" and "illimitato") are almost synonims synonyms in everyday language. Does this happen in english English too, or other languages?. I wonder: what if we chose another name for the two concepts? Would they make this mistake anyway? One way to check this would be to compare with what happens in other languages, where perhaps the words chosen do not create the confusion. Do you have other examples of this situation? Can you suggest different math concepts which in one laguage language are named with synonimssynonyms, but not in another? Do you know if this problem has been studied anywhere?

# Do names given to math concepts have a role in common mistakes by students?

Perhaps this question overlaps with similar ones, ... but I want to focus on a particular possible cause of confusion. I notice that students are often confused by the concepts of "infinite" and "unbounded". So, when asked if the set of invertible matrices is compact, they reply "no, because there are an infinite number of matrices with non zero determinant, therefore the set is unbounded". Actually this happens in italian, where the corresponding words ("infinito" and "illimitato") are almost synonims in everyday language. Does this happen in english too, or other languages?. I wonder: what if we chose another name for the two concepts? Would they make this mistake anyway? One way to check this would be to compare with what happens in other languages, where perhaps the words chosen do not create the confusion. Do you have other examples of this situation? Can you suggest different math concepts which in one laguage are named with synonims, but not in another? Do you know if this problem has been studied anywhere?