i was taught that if we have for eg. only number 2 before parenthesis that means we must multiply whole parenthesis by this number somethin' like this, 2(9+3) it's the same as 2*9 + 2*3 that equals 24.

You know what i mean? ;d it was really, really hard to for meh to explain this

That's just a trick that teachers use to help their students with multiplication. If you follow the order of operations, you will get the same answer:

Aha I see now. So it really is dependent on the order of operations you were taught.

Thanks Neo, I'm going to show this to my maths teacher and see if she can figure it out.

You can convert the division symbol (48 divided by 2) into a multiplication problem (48 multiplied by 0.5). Then following the same pattern used by the before operations to obtain 288. It is a valid rule since no calculations are being made (only using an identity property of multiplication and division)

The strict correct answer is that the syntax of the equation was wrong to begin with.

It boils down to how you read this: 1/2x

Do you read it as (1/2) * x or as 1/(2x). The way it was originally written does not specify the divisor in an explicit way leaving the equation ambiguous

[Edited by Neo7, 4/8/2011 3:24:59 PM]

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Throwing my vote in with 288. Good old BODMAS (our English version or the order - Brackets Over Division, Multiplication, Addition and Subtraction).

When you hear hoofbeats, don't think Zebra.

EDIT: Fixed :P

[Edited by moderator DABhand, 4/8/2011 9:18:08 PM]

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