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How can one division expression have more than one answer?

Hi Tutors,

I need help with my son's homework. This one is kinda confusing for both of us and we don't know where to start. How can one division expression have more than one answer? They were asked to create a Word Problem and explain how one division expression can have many different answers and give an example to support your answer". My son said that it could have different answers if the expression asked for an estimate or exact number. Please help. Thanks in advance!

1 Answer by Expert Tutors

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Jonathan B. | New Math Tutor (Jon)New Math Tutor (Jon)
I'm not sure I understand the question.
What exactly do you mean by division expression?
I will answer the question the way I understand it.
a / b = c     ( in real numbers )
a/ b =/ c    (=/ is not equal)  ( in integer arithmetic )
lets sub some numbers in and you can see better.
a = 12.3, b = 5.0
Then the first equation is
12.3/5.0 = 2.46 (for real numbers this is ok)
The second equation is
12.3/5 = 2 ( for integer arithmetic )
so the first equation and second equation are not equal.
One more way division can have several answers.
Lets look at 1.0/3.0 ( real numbers ) ... If you type that in you know the answer is just
0.333333333333333 ----> it goes on forever but saying 0.33333 is equal to the original statement.
0.333333 = 1/3 .... is false because they are different.  One is an approximate answer and one is exact.
Similar arguments can be made for  e and pi ... they are exact values so any type of decimal answer is approximated and therefore different.
Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.