# Definition:Generator of Module/Definition 1

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## Definition

Let $R$ be a ring.

Let $M$ be an $R$-module.

Let $S \subseteq M$ be a subset.

$S$ is a **generator of $M$** if and only if $M$ is the submodule generated by $S$.

## Also known as

A **generator** of a module is also known as a **spanning set**.

Some sources refer to a **generator for** rather than **generator of**. The two terms mean the same.

It can also be said that $S$ **generates $M$ (over $R$)**.

Other terms for $S$ are:

- A
**generating set of $M$ (over $R$)** - A
**generating system of $M$ (over $R$)**

Some sources refer to such an $S$ as a **set of generators of $M$ over $R$** but this terminology is misleading, as it can be interpreted to mean that each of the elements of $S$ is itself a **generator** of $M$ independently of the other elements.