I am using pdflatex on Ubuntu 20.04.2. I wrote the following latex code.

\newcommand{\bZ}{{\mathbb Z}}
   a &\not\lhdZl b\\
   a &\not\lhd_{\bZ^{l}} b

It seems to me that two lines in the align environment are supposed to give the same expressions, because the first one uses \lhdZl, which is defined as \lhd_{\bZ^{l}}, and the second one just uses \lhd_{\bZ^{l}}. However, the resulting pdf below puts the first one not with the \mathbb Z and the second one with the \mathbb Z.

mathbbZ with not

Is there something wrong?


The obvious problem is breqn.

A couple of fixes at the beginning:

  1. the correct syntax is \mathbb{Z}, not {\mathbb Z};

  2. \lhd is not defined as a binary relation symbol.

Fix without breqn:


\newcommand{\nsg}{\mathrel{\lhd}} % normal subgroup


   a &\not\nsgZl b\\
   a &\not\nsg_{\bZ^{l}} b


enter image description here

Now let's try with breqn. No, it doesn't work. Sorry. What can you do? Don't use breqn.

Apparently, breqn (or, rather, flexisym) wants to see an explicit _ after the negated symbol and hiding it in a macro will ruin everything. And, for strange reasons, making \lhd into a binary relation symbol will make \not unable to recognize it as such. Which is a bug in breqn: for instance, also \not\sqsubset produces a correct result.

  • Thank you for your answer! It's very clear. I hope the bug gets fixed, because sometimes I use breqn for the dmath environment. – veo May 9 at 10:09

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