Ok, I’m getting sick of all the ill-informed arguing over this math problem. I’ve been seeing replies everywhere trying to prove one answer correct, and even some replies from youtube channels claiming to specialise in maths. Everyone is missing the one, fundamental truth. But let’s save the bombshell for later.

This is the equation: 6/2(2+1) = ?

Now, stop quoting your calculators and Wolfram or any other crap like that because the program is only as accurate as you make the equation. And that’s the answer. **This equation is wrong. **A maths equation should never be written like this – the point of the parentheses is to make the equation easier to solve, and the point of the equation is to lay out an easy to solve problem. If you make it obscure what you mean, the equation is written incorrectly. This is something I’ve confirmed with two university professors (just to make sure I was right, which I am as usual). In reality, the equation should have been written either as (6/2)[2(2+1)] or 6/[2(2+1)].

Now, I know people have been arguing over the “two answers” to this, one going left to right after parentheses, making the answer 6/2*3 = 9 and the other using multiplication first making it 6/6 = 1.

As I’ve said, the correct answer is that the equation is written wrong. However, if you were to force me to pick one incorrect answer over the other, I would pick 1. Why? Because it’s more intuitive.

First of all, 6/2(2+1) implies 6/[2(2+1)] because the entire point of factorising the 2 with parentheses is to make it a single term (drawing from algebraic mathematics). That makes the 2(2+1) a single term, and thus the denominator of the fraction.

Second of all, nobody writes 6/2(2+1) and expects people to interpret it as (6/2) * (2+1). That’s just a retardedly queer way to write an equation. You would clarify it by writing the fraction properly (with the 6 over the 2 and the (2+1) at middle height).

But again, this is precluded by the fact that the equation is just written wrong. I hope this clears up the issue.

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October 20, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Notes From The BackseatAs a math major, this has always bothered me, but at least most people knew well enough to do the parenthesis first 😛

October 21, 2012 at 4:55 am

scepticalprophetHaha, good to know there’s a limit to how wrong they could be!