1.2 Learn Basic Properties and Operations

This lesson will help you learn the basic properties and rules that govern math problem-solving.

Order of Operations

Watch the video about applying the order of operations.

In the example below, notice how the fraction bar is used as a grouping symbol. A fraction is used to show division, but if there is an operation in the top or bottom of the fraction, you need to perform that operation first before you divide.

Other grouping symbols include brackets, the radical symbol, and the bars used to indicate absolute value.

Example

Find the value of the expression: $${\textstyle{{4 + 5} \over { - 3}}}\,\,\cdot \,\,( - 5 + 3)$$.

Step 1 Do the two operations in grouping symbols. Order of operations
Step 2 Then multiply. There are no other operations.
Then multiply.

Answer$${\textstyle{{4 + 5} \over { - 3}}}\,\,\cdot\,\,( - 5 + 3) = 6$$