Joseph B.

asked • 10/29/14

How do you write this expression: The quotient of fifteen and three minus four?

Is a parentheses necessary, or not? 15/3-4 or (15/3)-4
 
 
This is a link to the worksheet, with the answer key, but I think it's wrong. Aren't the parentheses redundant here?
http://mrmaffesoli.com/Printables/5OA2/5OA2-TPT1.pdf

2 Answers By Expert Tutors

By:

Michael W.

tutor
Christopher,
 
If there aren't any quotes or parentheses in the original statement, then doesn't the english follow order of operations, too?
 
The quotient of 15 and '3 minus 4': would be 15/(3-4)
The quotient of 15 and the quantity 3 minus 4: would be 15/(3-4), too.
The quotient of 15 and 3 minus 4:  that's just 15/3 - 4 or (15/3) - 4, in the order it was stated
 
Why would we assume that the original wording implied "3 minus 4" in quotes?  I'm going with Joseph's answer key on this one.
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10/29/14

Michael W.

tutor
Oops!  I mis-read Christopher's original response.  All on the same page.  :)
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10/29/14

Christopher R.

tutor
The parentheses is necessary due to 15/3-4 is not equal to 15/(3-4). Moreover, 15/3-4=5-4=1, and 15/(3-4)=15/-1=-15. This is the order of operations. Note: The quotient implies division of two numbers. In this case, it would be 15 and (3-4)=-1.
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10/10/19

Joseph B.

This was my daughter's fifth grade homework. She did not put parentheses and got marked wrong because it didn't match the key. I thought her answer was correct without the parentheses. It seems redundant the way the key has it.
 
Joe
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10/29/14

Michael W.

tutor
Joe,
 
So, how about asking the teacher for some clarification so your daughter can improve her skills?  "My daughter wrote this, the key said that, and she was a little confused as to what the difference is or how she should write it going forward."
 
Seems innocent enough, and then everyone benefits from additional clarity.
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10/29/14

Christopher R.

tutor
Actually, the parentheses is necessary due to 15/3-4 is not the same as 15/(3-4). Moreover, 15/3-4=5-4=1, and 15/(3-4)=15/-1=-15. Note: The quotient implies division between two sets of numbers. In this case, it is 15 and 3-4=-1.
Report

10/10/19

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