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Simple Math Problem

06/28/2016 3:29 PM

I'm almost ashamed to post this, but a recent discussion about how most students and adults got a simple math problem wrong was circulated by the internet news. You may have seen it; the problem was:

what is the answer to 9-3÷1/3 +1. The correct answer was given as 1. It's been a long time since I was in school, but the expression 3÷1/3 gives me much confusion.

They arrived at the answer as follows: Following the principal of the "order of operations" 3÷1/3 is the same as 3 x 3/1 which = 9; so 9-9+1 = 1.

I look at it differently: 3÷1/3 is the same as 3÷0.333 or 9.009009. My answer becomes 9-9.009.009+1 or 1.009009. Where am I going wrong? I do machining and .009 makes a big difference as to whether a part fits or not.

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#1

Re: Simple math problem

06/28/2016 3:44 PM

Wrong. 1/3 does not equal 0.333.

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#2

Re: Simple math problem

06/28/2016 3:51 PM

You cannot take 1/3 as equal to 0.333 .

with 1/3 = 0.3333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333 your answer will be closer to 1

Calculate 3/(1/3) as 3 / 3-1 = 3x3 = 9

what about (3/1) /3 = 1 ?

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Simple math problem

06/28/2016 3:55 PM

Yes, but you are rounding it down to the nearest even number. When you work in millionths of an inch, it makes a difference.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Simple math problem

06/28/2016 4:03 PM

But you made the prior mistake of rounding 1/3 down to 0.333, which is an error in the third decimal place; whereas Hendrik's is in some far later decimal place.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Simple math problem

06/28/2016 4:09 PM

Again I agree, but 1÷3 will never reach 1. It can approach 1 till infinity, but never be = to 1.

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#6
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Re: Simple math problem

06/28/2016 4:17 PM

Wrong again. What fails to reach 1 are the expressions 3/0.333, 3/0.3333, etc., all of which are incorrect.

Dividing by a number is the same as multiplying by its reciprocal. Thus ÷(1/3) is the same as x3. Thus further, 9 - 3÷(1/3) +1 = 9 - 3x3 +1 = 9 - 9 + 1 = 1. (All of this exactly.)

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#68
In reply to #6

Re: Simple math problem

06/30/2016 9:01 AM

Of course. Why express 1/3 as a decimal, bringing in rounding errors, when the following step gives an integer?

The question is ambiguous as it doesn't make clear the order of operations, and it's a bit odd to use ÷ and / in the same expression. In XL, where * and / are done first, followed by + and -, (and treating 3÷1/3 as 3/1/3), comes to 9 - 3/1/3 + 1 = 9. Older hand calculator treats it as (9 - 3)/1/3 + 1 = 3. Calling it 9 - 3/(1/3) + 1 = 1 as you say, and appears to be the expected answer.

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#8
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Re: Simple math problem

06/28/2016 4:23 PM

Nobody works in millionths of an inch on anything mechanical.

That's 254 Angstroms.

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#41
In reply to #8

Re: Simple math problem

06/29/2016 10:07 AM

It may be very few, but it's definitely not 'nobody'. For example, lenses are made by mechanical devices. Especially in today's tiny camera lenses, a millionth of an inch error could render it useless.

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#72
In reply to #3

Re: Simple math problem

06/30/2016 1:34 PM

Only if you are from Mississippi do you think like that. Didn't they teach you how to divide apples?

Integers that start off as integers do not have a floating (decimal) part. Learn to walk before you take off running with scissors, Mississippi.

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#7

Re: Simple math problem

06/28/2016 4:18 PM

9-3÷1/3 +1 I get this as 9-3=6/ 1/3 = 18 +1 = 19

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#9
In reply to #7

Re: Simple math problem

06/28/2016 4:28 PM

That was precisely the answer I first got because the 3÷1/3 expression was not enclosed by parenthesis, because of the omission of the "order of operations"

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: Simple math problem

06/28/2016 4:34 PM

Parentheses are not necessary in that instance. The standard order of procedure is to do multiplications and divisions first, followed by additions and subtractions in the order as given.

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#43
In reply to #11

Re: Simple math problem

06/29/2016 10:48 AM

I was taught, back in the '60s, to most always use parentheses, brackets etc. so there is no question of the order of operations.

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#75
In reply to #43

Re: Simple math problem

06/30/2016 1:40 PM

By simply knowing precedence of operators, one does not need parentheses ever, except in cases where you are doing calculations in a computer spreadsheet, a complicated formula in a database calculated field, or in some other computer application.

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#81
In reply to #75

Re: Simple math problem

07/01/2016 12:47 AM

I'll argue with you on that one! Any calculation requiring multiple sets of operations needs parentheses, and commonly nested parentheses, to clarify intent. Remove them, and at best it is like writing a long paragraph with no punctuation: even if the words are in exactly the correct order, without the punctuation, it is very difficult to read/understand, and may be impossible to decipher without ambiguity.

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#92
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Re: Simple math problem

07/01/2016 4:37 PM

I agree completely (for a change). Especially when undertaking complicated formulae in spreadsheets or fields in database reports, it is highly critical to use parentheses to ensure the correct evaluation of the intended expression in the final cell or report field. Otherwise, one has the same old garbage in, garbage out.

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#13
In reply to #9

Re: Simple math problem

06/28/2016 4:44 PM

Oh OK, I get it PEMDAS... This came after my time I guess...some exceptions...

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#73
In reply to #7

Re: Simple math problem

06/30/2016 1:37 PM

You are applying the standard rules of arithmetic operations order that was taught you in the third grade, or was it the second grade.

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#76
In reply to #73

Re: Simple math problem

06/30/2016 2:13 PM

More like nowhere.

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#10

Re: Simple math problem

06/28/2016 4:33 PM

Operator precedence is the key here.

If no vincula, brackets, parentheses: multiply first, then add. Division is multiplication by the reciprocal, and subtraction is addition of the opposite.

In this example 9-3÷1/3 +1
Inverse Multiplication: 3÷1/3 = 9
9 (given in problem) plus -9 (result of previous operation) = Zero
Zero (result of previous) +1 (given in problem) = 1

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#38
In reply to #10

Re: Simple math problem

06/29/2016 8:19 AM

Exactly right! New math, old rules.

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#44
In reply to #38

Re: Simple math problem

06/29/2016 10:50 AM

What is new about it? There is nothing there I didn't know 60 years ago!

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#74
In reply to #10

Re: Simple math problem

06/30/2016 1:39 PM

Now do you know the reason behind this rule? Is it the commutation rules?

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#12

Re: Simple math problem

06/28/2016 4:38 PM

Remember the term PEMDAS

Parentheses

Exponents

Multiplication

Division

Addition

Subtraction

that is the order of operations.

As far as 1/3 is written I would write as 0.333 with an over score over the last (3) meaning it continues.

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#14
In reply to #12

Re: Simple math problem

06/28/2016 5:30 PM

That was good until it choked on the last sentence. Converting 1/3 to 0.333 is the key mistake that has bedeviled Ron.

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Simple math problem

06/28/2016 5:59 PM

"Converting 1/3 to 0.333 is the key mistake that has bedeviled Ron." Correct.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiplicative_inverse

3 ÷ 1/3
Invert the fraction and multiply becomes 3 * 3/1 = 9

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#23
In reply to #14

Re: Simple math problem

06/28/2016 9:20 PM

Actually, it didn't choke on the last sentence. He wrote 'with an over score over the last (3) meaning it continues'.

In one form of math notation an 'over score line' written over decimals means that those decimals repeat 'to infinity'.

Thus,

is exactly equivalent to 1/3.

But yes, Ronseto's mistake was equating 1/3 to 0.333, as on a calculator.

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#24
In reply to #23

Re: Simple math problem

06/28/2016 9:39 PM

Thank you... That was high school math. Like rons question.

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#25
In reply to #23

Re: Simple math problem

06/28/2016 10:21 PM

You could put the overscore over just the first 3, you know. And, of course, no one can divide by 0.3 (overscore), because it is impossible to enter infinitely many 3's.

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#36
In reply to #25

Re: Simple math problem

06/29/2016 7:12 AM

Duh.

Just a btw...(for anyone who hasn't seen this, or has forgotten it)

If X = 0.333...... (repeating infinitely)

then 10X = 3.333.... (repeating infinitely)

10X - X = 3.333... - 0.333...

so 9X = 3

and thus X = 1/3.

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#37
In reply to #36

Re: Simple math problem

06/29/2016 8:15 AM

A rose by any other name is still a rose.

I was under the understanding the over score goes over the last number to establish the pattern.

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#48
In reply to #37

Re: Simple math problem

06/29/2016 1:14 PM

That was my understanding as well, except when the repeating value is a sequence, Then the first set of whichever characters are to repeat has the overline:

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#50
In reply to #48

Re: Simple math problem

06/29/2016 4:29 PM

Same thing. Overscore above however many digits are repeated. 1 .. 2 .. 3 whatever.

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#45
In reply to #12

Re: Simple math problem

06/29/2016 12:04 PM

I don't know how we missed exponents back when I learned this.

Phoenix911 is "more correct" but if you want one that is usually good enough and a little easier to remember:

Please My Dear Aunt Sally = Parenthesis, Multiplication, Division, Addition then Subtraction.

I can't think of an example where the order of evaluating exponents matters based upon proper rules. If you are using a calculator then something like 2-squared must (usually) be evaluated early since (most) calculators won't carry through the 2-squared since it is immediately evaluated to 4. If you are manipulating the equations on paper then 2-squared is still 2-squared even after you have done all your Please My Dear Aunt Sally stuff.

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#52
In reply to #45

Re: Simple math problem

06/29/2016 6:39 PM

Let's add E, Bruce: Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally = Parenthesis, Exponent, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction.

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#54
In reply to #52

Re: Simple math problem

06/29/2016 6:56 PM

Not such a hot mnemonic; multiplication and division have no precedence over each other, nor do addition and subtraction. They are simply taken in the order given.

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#64
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Re: Simple math problem

06/30/2016 5:00 AM

Some of us had a different one.

Pointless Exercises in Mostly Dumb A$$ Sh!t.

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#66
In reply to #64

Re: Simple math problem

06/30/2016 7:48 AM

Word has it,... this is what you excel in. ....

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#77
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Re: Simple math problem

06/30/2016 5:44 PM

And proud of it!

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#78
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Re: Simple math problem

06/30/2016 5:48 PM

And then there is the resistor color code . . . .

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#111
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Re: Simple math problem

07/03/2016 12:59 AM

Reminds of the mnemonic I use to remember my new license plate DMF:

DUMB MOTH. FU...

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#112
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Re: Simple math problem

07/03/2016 2:02 AM

I'll buy that.

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#16

Re: Simple math problem

06/28/2016 6:13 PM

Doorman nailed it in #15 (beat me to it).

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#17
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Re: Simple math problem

06/28/2016 6:53 PM

Somebody beat him to it, too. (Every element having been mentioned beforehand.)

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#35
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Re: Simple math problem

06/29/2016 5:40 AM

You're right. I was tired, and skimming through the posts, it was the first one I spotted that just used integers, inverted the fraction and changed the division to a multiplication.

Apologies to all concerned.

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#18

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/28/2016 7:59 PM

It's funny but I get 9. (I know the intended answer is 1 but bear with me.)

3 divided by 1 is 3 that is divided by 3 giving 1, thus the additive operators are now

9 minus 1 plus 1 = 9

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#19
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Re: Simple Math Problem

06/28/2016 8:04 PM

That's odd, when I worked it out, my answer was a 'Blue Chevrolet Cavalier'... Must of forgot to carry the '1' or something.

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#20
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Re: Simple Math Problem

06/28/2016 8:11 PM

If you did carry the one, it would have been red instead.

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#21
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Re: Simple Math Problem

06/28/2016 8:33 PM

Yep... I see my mistake... Yes, the answer is "Red Chevrolet Cavalier with a bad right front head light and left blinker that doesn't go off"

thanks, fellow Members. My cavalier is now running at 63.5% ... That's btw is 100% Cavalier exchange rate.

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#108
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Re: Simple Math Problem

07/03/2016 12:26 AM

How do you rate an answer that is off-topic, but a good reply?

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#27
In reply to #18

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/28/2016 10:36 PM

Yes I got something similar but it depends on how the original problem was written

3 ÷ ⅓ = 9 as the intention seems clear that the divisor is one third but

3 ÷ 1 / 3 = 1 as BSR has noted by doing the operations in order left to right but using the two different common symbols for division

So the limitations of the word processing operation may (WILL) have an impact

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#22

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/28/2016 9:14 PM

It's just a trick to see if you remember to do multiplication and division before addition and subtraction. Even though computer languages "know the rules", omitting the parentheses make it confusing to most humans. Most programmers put in parentheses whether needed or not just to make it clear what is intended.

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#49
In reply to #22

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/29/2016 2:04 PM

GA Totally agree. I always use parentheses for clarity instead of depending on operator precedence.

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#26

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/28/2016 10:27 PM

Too bad you don't work for GM, they don't seem to realize close tolerances matter! Maybe the problem required rounding off to the nearest whole number.

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#28

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/28/2016 11:42 PM

What I learnt in school was BOMDAS, = Brackets Of Multiplication Division Addition Subtraction.

9-3÷1/3 +1 = 9-(3÷1/3) +1 = 9-((3÷1/3) +1) = 9-(((3x3)/1) +1) = 9-10 = Answer -1.

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#29
In reply to #28

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/29/2016 12:10 AM

Was that your joke of the day?

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#30
In reply to #29

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/29/2016 12:40 AM

Yes Ha Ha, for an answer of 1 you have to subtract 9 from 9 then add 1, which is wrong, you have to add first then subtract. Or are you just joking.

(9-9)+1 or 9-(9+1)

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#31
In reply to #30

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/29/2016 1:39 AM

As already discussed, the convention is to take additions and subtractions in the order given, so your second scheme is incorrect. Maybe two year of common core remedial math could fix that.

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#32
In reply to #31

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/29/2016 2:36 AM

I seem to be at fault? To old for further education , but not to old to listen.

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#34
In reply to #32

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/29/2016 5:37 AM

Order of Operations - BODMAS - Math is Fun

https://www.mathsisfun.com/operation-order-bodmas.html

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Order of Operations - BODMAS. Operations. "Operations" mean things like add, subtract, multiply, divide, squaring, etc. If it isn't a number it is probably an ...

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#40
In reply to #28

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/29/2016 9:44 AM

9-3÷1/3 +1 = 9-(3÷1/3) +1 = 9-((3÷1/3) +1) = 9-(((3x3)/1) +1) = 9-10 = Answer -1.

Wrong!! Actually:

9-3÷1/3 +1 = 9-(3÷1/3) +1 = 9-((3÷1/3) -1) = 9-(((3x3)/1) -1) = 9-8 = 1

because a-b+c = a-(b-c) and not a-(b+c)

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#55
In reply to #40

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/29/2016 7:25 PM

No not wrong but a different interpretation

We have all seen how to get to

9 - 9 + 1

Like most people I would then do addition and subtraction as equal and work from left to right to get

(9 - 9) + 1 = 1 - note that the parentheses are inserted to indicate priority only

However the operational rules give addition before subtraction (ignoring for the moment that subtraction is just negative addition) in which case - again using parentheses for priority

9 - (9 + 1) = -1

This is an entirely acceptable evaluation of the problem, is in keeping with the rules of mathematics and priorities of operations and neatly illustrates the issues being highlighted in the problem.

Its not how I would do it, nor you clearly but it is unfair to say its wrong (IMHO)

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#58
In reply to #40

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/29/2016 8:29 PM

"because a-b+c = a-(b-c) and not a-(b+c)"

NO!

a-b+c =(a-b)+c

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#59
In reply to #58

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/29/2016 8:50 PM

The technical term for this is that addition is associative, but combinations of addition and subtraction are not. That is why they are read from left to right, rather than being falsely grouped, as a responder or two have done.

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#63
In reply to #58

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/30/2016 2:07 AM

Actually, both ( "a-(b-c)" and "(a-b)+c" ) are correct (and give the same result). If your "NO!" means that "(a-b)+c" should be used because it's the normal and easiest way, I totally agree. I just wanted to show him his mistake.

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#80
In reply to #63

Re: Simple Math Problem

07/01/2016 12:27 AM

"Actually, both ( "a-(b-c)" and "(a-b)+c" ) are correct (and give the same result)."

Mathematically true, but to obtain "a-(b-c)" from the original "a-b+c", at least one intermediate step is required, including the knowledge that +c=-(-c), and it implies an incorrect ordering of operations.

See Tornado's post #59.

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#33

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/29/2016 4:46 AM

Sometimes, working using fractions and turning off the calculator is best.

Dividing something by 1/3 is the same as multiplying by 3.

Hence: 9-(3x3)+1 = 1 no question.

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#39

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/29/2016 9:34 AM

For anyone still having trouble with the 3÷1/3 part of this ( or having trouble explaining it to a young person), it may help to write it in words.

"What is three divided by one-third?" means the same as "how many one-thirds are there in three?" (just as "what is 64 divided by 8?" means the same as "how many 8s are there in 64?"). Now it's clear (by definition) that there are three one-thirds in a one, thence nine one-thirds in three ones.

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#42

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/29/2016 10:15 AM

The devil is in the details.

These 'internet' math challenges just cause time wasting confusion. The lack of parenthesis hinder the clarity of the question.

This is akin to the punctuation making all the difference between...

Don't stop. and Don't! Stop!

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#46

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/29/2016 1:05 PM

Re previous references by Phoenix911 #13 and jdretired #34

We were taught BODMAS (or sometimes BOMDAS) where O meant 'of' such as 1/4th of 5, or 2/3rds of 10.

But O also doubled up as Operator later we learned in our studies (Exponents and Indices were not known at the time) - but by then we had basic grounding in dealing with the order or sequence.

At a tangent to the OP, using a calculator to divide by 3 then multiplying by 3 produces some interesting results.

eg. 10 ÷ 3 x 3 = 10 on a good calculator, or 9.99999999 on a cheap one.

In the OP, 3÷1/3 has to be input as 3÷3(reciprocal)=9

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#47
In reply to #46

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/29/2016 1:12 PM

There is no such thing as 1/4th or 2/3rds. The correct terms are 1/4 and 2/3.

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#56
In reply to #47

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/29/2016 8:14 PM

There is no such thing as 1/4th or 2/3rds. The correct terms are 1/4 and 2/3.

Of course there is a 1/4th and 2/3rds. I have just used them. And so have you - so they must exist

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#57
In reply to #56

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/29/2016 8:23 PM

Those terms are incorrect. That I quoted them doesn't mean that I used them for anything else. Learn how to write and say numbers correctly.

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#65
In reply to #57

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/30/2016 7:40 AM

Hello Tornado: ".....Those terms are incorrect. That I quoted them doesn't mean that I used them for anything else. Learn how to write and say numbers correctly...".

The terms I use - 1/4th and 2/3rds - are not incorrect at all - I use them in speech all the time to great effect. I am sorry to hear you do not agree - but never mind.

1/4 and 2/3 are OK by me for use in writing formulas but 1/4th and 2/3rds (and many other fractions) are OK in speech.

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#70
In reply to #65

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/30/2016 10:32 AM

Wrong again. Written fractions such as 1/4 and 2/3 are already correctly pronounced one-fourth and two-thirds. The ordinal letters are understood, but they are NOT written.

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#97
In reply to #70

Re: Simple Math Problem

07/01/2016 7:19 PM

I am not wrong at all. 1/4 is pronounce as one quarter. To me one fourth is written as 1/4th - and is the way I write it - and will continue to do so because the distinction between the two is 100% clear in my mind and works perfectly in the way I relate to the world - although I admit that the fraction as written here is partly due to limitations of this primitive word processor - maybe ¼th is better - I don't mind you disagreeing though.

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#99
In reply to #97

Re: Simple Math Problem

07/01/2016 7:51 PM

You are still completely wrong. Your cheap excuse for one-quarter versus one-fourth does not work anywhere else, such as for 1/3, 3/8, etc. What are you going do next, 1/2nd for one-half?

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#117
In reply to #99

Re: Simple Math Problem

07/05/2016 9:20 AM

No, that is obviously one second. LOL.

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#102
In reply to #97

Re: Simple Math Problem

07/01/2016 9:29 PM

I'm with Tornado on this one. "1/4" can correctly be spoken as "one divided by four", or "one over four", or "one fourth", or as "one quarter", or as "a fourth", or as "a quarter". I suspect that there are additional ways to convert those three symbols into correct English speech.

Adding a "th" after 1/4 is to speak it as "one fourthth" , which is NOT correct English.

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#105
In reply to #102

Re: Simple Math Problem

07/02/2016 9:33 PM

You might pronounce it as one fourthth - I don't, I pronounce it as one fourth.

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#116
In reply to #97

Re: Simple Math Problem

07/05/2016 9:19 AM

You blokes have pennies, shillings, and pounds. We have pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollars.

I will be easily able to show you the that 1/4 is not a quarter. All you have to do is start with 4 dimes.

LOL. I think we are once again suffering from the semantics of American versus English usage, context, and pronunciation.

1/4 is ein Viertel in Germany. That should totally settle the matter once and for all.

If you draw and quarter someone, do they not end up in 4 pieces, not necessarily equal?

Writing 1/4 as 1/4th is tantamount (as Solar mentioned) to saying "one-fourth-th". It sounds like Sylvester the tuxedo cat attempting to talk, with all three of his remaining teeth in play, God rest his catness.

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#51

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/29/2016 6:23 PM

You are perfectly correct. If you add more 3s, such as 0.3333333333333...

you'll get too close like a blade and your caliper would read it as 9.

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#53
In reply to #51

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/29/2016 6:44 PM

Approximating by decimals was a completely wrong maneuver in the first place, and adding more of them scarcely improves matters.

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#60

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/29/2016 9:16 PM

X÷1/3 = Xx3 there is no need for rounding, converting to decimal, etc, by inspection the correct answer is 1

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#61

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/29/2016 10:19 PM

This problem uses two types of notation for division. รท and /. As such i could argue that it reads as 9- 3 divided by 1 and the whole/3 ( over 3 ) giving 9 minus 3 all over 3. answer being 2 + 1 = 3 Apologies for the longhand; this browser doesn't have the text, pics, etc. toolbar. Jim

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#62
In reply to #61

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/29/2016 11:11 PM

If you knew what you were doing, you couldn't argue any such nonsense at all.

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#79
In reply to #62

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/30/2016 8:55 PM

Exactly, glad you got my point. There are reasons for conventions, just wish i knew them all. Ignorance of some conventions can cause serious injury or death. Think electrical wiring, drawing dimensions and layout, ....etc. Jim

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#67

Re: Simple Math Problem

06/30/2016 8:48 AM

Unlike languages like English, French, Germany, etc... which changes and evolve.

Math is a universal language, the talk of 1/4ths and the like is incorrect and when pointed out may think that people that are pointing that out are anal purists... but they are only trying to maintain the integrity of math itself.

My college professor once said, "Math, you ether know it, or you don't. There is no in between". And what he meant by that is you have to follow the rules set forth. And not doing your own interpretations. Doing so, it wouldn't fail you with the problems the OP is having.

By the way, my college professor also made it clear, he doesn't grade using the 'Bell Curve' with the same reasoning he set forth about knowing Math..

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#94
In reply to #67

Re: Simple Math Problem

07/01/2016 6:27 PM

I disagree. 1/4th is not incorrect. It is perfectly valid in speech. I have no problem with it. But I agree 1/4th does not lend itself to use in a formula or in a calculator, but using 1/4th in a verbal discussion of a maths process should not cause any problems - for anybody.

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#95
In reply to #94

Re: Simple Math Problem

07/01/2016 6:37 PM

"1/4" is already pronounced "one-fourth"; the letters are superfluous and incorrect.

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#100
In reply to #95

Re: Simple Math Problem

07/01/2016 7:59 PM

No! it is not incorrect. 1/4 is one quarter. You can pronounce it as one fourth if you like, but I add 'th' to remove any ambiguity to make it one fourth and IMO is essential if the correct pronunciation is required.

But does it really matter. In a strict maths context 'th' can't be input in formulas in calculators or computers.

The OP must be wondering what the fuss is about when all is required is clarification on how to divide by 1/3

which I would agree is one third and the same as 1/3rd - but I add 'rd' because I do like to be consistent.

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#101
In reply to #100

Re: Simple Math Problem

07/01/2016 8:07 PM

Still incorrect. For what earthly reason do you have to "force" someone to say "one-fourth" versus "one quarter"? That's just another bogus excuse. Learn to write English correctly.

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#103
In reply to #101

Re: Simple Math Problem

07/02/2016 9:55 AM

It is not incorrect, but you have a right to express an opinion that I am wrong. But that is all it is - an opinion.

I express a counter-opinion that I am not wrong. That's it. I will continue to use 1/4th and 1/3rd or 1/4 or 1/3 in the appropriate context.

I am much more interested in the engineering arguments to solve the OP's problem.

It seems to be the way dividing by 1/3rd 1/3 is handled. Manipulating fractions produces an accurate answer as long as the BODMAS sequence is followed.

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#104
In reply to #103

Re: Simple Math Problem

07/02/2016 4:05 PM

Still incorrect; abominably bad form.

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#106
In reply to #104

Re: Simple Math Problem

07/02/2016 10:23 PM

"Still incorrect; abominably bad form"

Only because you say so. I do not accept your opinion as the definitive view on this subject. I disagree with you. Please spare me the public lecture on what is right and wrong.

I use 1/4 when I mean one quarter and I use 1/4th when I mean one fourth. That's it. I am not asking you to use 1/4th or agree.

Click on Ω above and hover over 1/4 - and read the description - it is not one fourth - that's for sure.

Tell you what, get Savvi to change it to one fourth and I will stop using 'th' on CR4. How's that for a compromise.

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#107
In reply to #106

Re: Simple Math Problem

07/02/2016 10:48 PM

It is not only because I say so; it is because the overwhelming weight of custom says so.

Not all opinions are equal to each other. If someone says that 2 + 2 = 4, you do not have the option of offering a "counter-opinion" that 2 + 2 = 5.

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#109
In reply to #107

Re: Simple Math Problem

07/03/2016 12:48 AM

Next topic for discussion will be "How Many Angels Fit on the Point of a Pin".

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#110
In reply to #109

Re: Simple Math Problem

07/03/2016 12:57 AM

Bad analogy. On questions for which no answers are known, or even possible, all opinions are void.

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#118
In reply to #110

Re: Simple Math Problem

07/05/2016 9:25 AM

In those instances, it is possible that all opinions are simultaneously void and valid. Adding -th to 1/4 is essentially the same as saying simultaneous at the same time. REDUNDANT.

for Christ's sake, the damned answer to this simple math problem is unity. We will have none of that here.

Let's move on to something of equal or more consequence, such as angels dancing on the tip of a sewing pin.

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