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# Operations -- A Distinct Process

To break it down, now that you have finished learning about addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, you can tell people that you understand the basic operations in math. An operation is an action that you can take when you look at two numbers. You know that if you see a plus sign, it's time to add. A minus sign means it's time to subtract. Sometimes you will need to solve problems with different types of signs. You will look for the specific symbols and do the actions. In math, there is a specific order for completing those operations. You will learn about the proper order of operations in this section.

This process is in place so that math works the same way for everyone and every time a math problem is solved. Math wouldn't work if two people were given the same equation and they got different answers. Math relies on those logical arguments and procedures to work properly. When you follow the process, you will always get the right answer.

Example:
The Problem: 3 + 5 x 2 = ?
Wrong way:
(1) 3 + 5 = 8
(2) 8 x 2 = 16
Right way:
(1) 5 x 2 = 10
(2) 3 + 10 = 13

We will also introduce two new symbols to you in this section... Parentheses. While many problems won't have them, parentheses will help you figure out the order and the correct steps to solve the problem. The above example would actually look like this: 3 + (5 x 2). Then it would be easy for you to remember that you need to do the multiplication before the division.

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