Turn on thread page Beta
 You are Here: Home >< Maths

# 48÷2(9+3) = ? watch

• View Poll Results: 48/2(9+3)
2
117
52.47%
288
106
47.53%

1. (Original post by Jtking3000)
this thread is on 4chan as well

EDIT: and indeed everywhere if you google search it
surreal
2. (Original post by lalilou)
48÷2(9+3)
The fact that there are brackets there means that the 2 is paired up to the (9+3).
This isnt correct. 2(9+3) is the same as 2*(9+3)

the 2 would be paired with the (9+3) if it was (2(9+3))
3. The answer '2' is winning! yepeee!
4. (Original post by connor ellis)
This isnt correct. 2(9+3) is the same as 2*(9+3)

the 2 would be paired with the (9+3) if it was (2(9+3))
all three things you just wrote are exactly the same hehe
5. ok this is different to the original thread. ÷ is different to /
/ implies brackets wheras ÷ does not. with the / the answer is 2
with ÷ the answer is 288
6. (Original post by Simplicity)
Sorry, but some people at the Maths computer cluster was arguing about this.

I say it's 2.
THE ANSWER IS 2. I WILL TRY AND EXPLAIN WHY HERE:

The key to answering this answer correctly is knowing the "distributive law", sometimes called the "distributive property". Most calculators including google's are not advanced enough to consider the distributive law - this is why your calculator may be giving you the incorrect alternative of 288.

In the problem: 48÷2(9+3), you have to think of the 2(9+3) as ONE SINGLE ENTITY i.e. you cannot break this up. This is due to what mathematicians call the "distributive law" or "distributive property" - google it for more info.

Applying the distributive law, the problem 48÷2(9+3) becomes:
48÷(2(9+3))
From here, the problem becomes as straightforward as most people probably thought it was initially:
48÷(2(12))
=48÷(24)
=48÷24
=2

The people who are answering the incorrect answer of 288 are doing this:
48÷2(9+3)
=24(9+3)
=24x12
=288 = WRONG
This is incorrect because this solution does not obey the distributive law. It splits up the unbreakable entity '2(9+3)'. into 2 and (9+3). You cannot do this.
7. (Original post by CameraGirl)
all three things you just wrote are exactly the same hehe
seperatly they are, however, when placed back into the original equation they are not.
48÷2(9+3) is different to 48÷(2(9+3))
what stems from this is that if the 2 is not paired with the (9+3) then the answer is 288 using the rule of working from right to left.
48÷(2(9+3)) this is 2
48÷2(9+3) = 288 IMO
8. (Original post by connor ellis)
ok this is different to the original thread. ÷ is different to /
/ implies brackets wheras ÷ does not. with the / the answer is 2
with ÷ the answer is 288
The division sign is exactly the same as /.

If you look at ÷ it is a dot a line then a dot, implying dot 1 is the thing above the line and dot 2 is below the line.
9. So like why has this been discussed for 24 pages ? and its 2
10. (Original post by timiop2008)
This is incorrect because this solution does not obey the distributive law. It splits up the unbreakable entity '2(9+3)'. into 2 and (9+3). You cannot do this.
(2(9+3)) is an 'unbreakable entity'

2(9+3) is simply the same as 2*(9+3)
in the context of the original equation....
11. (Original post by timiop2008)
distributive law
this is what i've been trying to say haha, but didn't realise it had a name, and i'm not that great at explaining haha. thank you
12. Bidmas ffs.

Poll. Ask away. Added options for it being undetermined and ambiguous
14. (Original post by fwed1)
http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i...%29%289%2B3%29

Just posting this link that I do not believe has been posted before. As you can see in my search term I entered brackets however wolfram took the first set away as they were not needed leaving the answer in the format given by the question. Therefore people can assume that we are working with (48/2)(9+3).

For further reference here is what it would be like if we had 48/(2(9+3))

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i...%289%2B3%29%29

As you can see the question has been set out differently.

288 is given in the top correct link
2 is given in the bottom incorrect link.

That is all.
The correct answer is 2. You cannot make the original expression equal to the expression: (48/2)(9+3). You cannot do this because the distributive law does not allow it. According to the distributive law, you have to consider (2(9+3) as an unbreakable entity.
15. Why has nobody closed this thread yet?
16. (Original post by MathematicsKiller)
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!! !
This is the most ridiculous thread I have seen in a long time!!!!!

Whoever disagrees with 2 as the answer needs to start school all over again from Pre-GCSE years.
BIDMAS, then working from left to right gives 288 as the answer.

To get 2 as the answer, you need to assume things about the position of the 2 which we cannot be sure of from the form the equation is written in.
17. (Original post by MostCompetitive)

BIDMAS:

Brackets
Indicies
Division
Multiplication
Subtraction

Therefore, it is simply:
Haha. I love the way you have considered such a challenging question in such simplistic terms but you have actually got the correct answer. Well done lol
18. (Original post by MostCompetitive)

BIDMAS:

Brackets
Indicies
Division
Multiplication
Subtraction

Therefore, it is simply:
Bidmas is misleading. division and multiplication are on the same level of priority.
as they have equal priority to decide which to perform first you must work from left to right. This is the standard law.
19. (Original post by Jonty99)
BIDMAS, then working from left to right gives 288 as the answer.

To get 2 as the answer, you need to assume things about the position of the 2 which we cannot be sure of from the form the equation is written in.
I totally agree!
20. (Original post by timiop2008)
The correct answer is 2. You cannot make the original expression equal to the expression: (48/2)(9+3). You cannot do this because the distributive law does not allow it. According to the distributive law, you have to consider (2(9+3) as an unbreakable entity.
wolfram alpha has just the same problem as everyone debating on here has had. it cannot function without extensive and proper use of brackets, and it cannot use it's own initiative because it is just a computer programme. although a very very amazingly godly one. but only provided you put the problem in correctly.

so you cannot use it to tell which answer is correct in the case of this question, as it entirely depends how you enter it to wolfram. which is open to your interpretation.

Turn on thread page Beta

### Related university courses

TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

This forum is supported by:
Updated: April 9, 2011
Today on TSR

### My dream is to become a WAG

I wont settle for anything else!

Poll
Useful resources

## Make your revision easier

### Maths Forum posting guidelines

Not sure where to post? Read the updated guidelines here

### How to use LaTex

Writing equations the easy way

### Study habits of A* students

Top tips from students who have already aced their exams

Can you help? Study help unanswered threads

## Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE