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Difference Between Constants and Variables

Difference Between Constants and Variables

Variables and constants are two very important terms in mathematics. They are well associated with algebra, trigonometry, and almost every branch of mathematics. Before we learn about equations, we must first understand the distinctions between constants and variables. These words are often used in algebra. As a result, distinguishing between the two is crucial.


As the name indicates, a constant is a value that never changes. A constant has a fixed value that cannot be altered by any variable. Numbers and integers are used to represent constants.

For example, in the algebraic formula 5a + 2b = 11, the number 11 is a constant; we know that the face or real value is 7 and cannot be altered. 5a and 2b, on the other hand, are not constants since the variables a and b can alter their values. 5a can be any multiple of 5, while 2b can be any multiple of 2 from -infinity to infinity.


Variable refers to a value that can be altered over time. Variables are always denoted using an alphabet, which can be any letter from a – z or A – Z. Even the Greek or Roman letters can be used as variables. The English variables such as a, b, c, or x, y, z are really common, which are used universally for writing equations and inequations. The Greek letters like θ are used to represent a variable angle; the worth of a variable fluctuates from time to time. They are necessary to solve a lot of mathematical problems.

For instance, let us again consider the algebraic equation: 5a + 2b = 11, where a and b are variables that vary depending on the equation.

Difference Between Constant and Variables

Now that we have learned some basics about variables and constants, it is time to differentiate between the two terms. The distinction between variable and constant is shown in tabular form below. It will help you understand what is changeable and what is constant.



A constant's value does not change and remains constant indefinitely.

A variable, on the other hand, alters its value according to the equation.

Numbers are commonly used to denote constants. These can be negative as well as positive integers. Even irrational numbers like pi are constants.

Alphabets are commonly used to represent variables. The Alphabet can be from any language possible. They can be English or Greek, etc.

Constants have a known face value.

The variables' values are unknown.

You can never customize the value of a constant by yourself.

You can always customize the value of a variable; you can choose it from any language, use uppercase or lowercase letters, and even use words as variables.

In the equation 5b + 10 = 33, for example, 10 and 33 are both constants.

In the equation, 5b - 13y = 21, b and y are variables. Let us take another example, sin 2θ = 10, here θ is a variable. 'var = 10', here var is the variable term. 


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