# The Internet Is Completely Divided Over the Answer to This Simple Math Equation. ## Recommended Posts The Internet Is Completely Divided Over the Answer to This Simple Math Equation.

There are two obvious answers to this problem but only one of them is correct.The answer that you get is based on how you were taught to solve algebra equations.See below.

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The internet is completely divided over a simple algebraic equation that your middle schooler would likely solve in seconds. However, it's not that it's difficult to get to an answer; it's a matter of which answer you get. Some of those who solve the equation are getting an answer of 1 and others are landing at 16.

The confusion that's coming up is a result of the way people were taught the order of operations, or PEMDAS — remember that acronym? Here's a brief refresher as to how PEMDAS works, for those who need it:

P: solve the equation inside any parentheticals first.
E: solve any exponential equations (hint: there aren't any in this one, so we can ignore this)
M: solve any multiplication problems*
D: solve any division problems*
S: solve any subtraction problems*

*In most instances, you're taught to solve the MD and AS portions of PEMDAS from left to right, but some people were taught that if there's a number attached to a parenthetical (which implies that you multiply the two numbers), that you're still working on the parenthesis portion of PEMDAS. (Which is also known as BOMDAS in some parts of the world, but ultimately means the same thing.)

How to Get to an Answer of 16

Here's the equation: 8 / 2(2+2)

First, add the numbers in the parenthesis, which equal 4. Then, multiply and divide from left to right. First, 8 divided by 2 is 4, and 4 times 4 is 16.

How to Get to an Answer of 1

Here's the equation once again: 8 / 2(2+2)

First, add the numbers in the parenthesis, which equal 4. Then, to finish off the parenthesis, multiply 4 by the 2, which equals 8. Then, 8 divided by 8 is 1.

Now technically, even though the internet is torn, the correct answer is 16. BUT before you @ me, hear me out: say the equation was 8 / 2 x 4, thus eliminating the parenthesis component completely. You would always work from left to right, which would give you the answer of 16 (8 divided by 2 is 4, times 4 is 16).

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• SkyMan 8 posts

• Salty Dog 6 posts

• Davaoeno 5 posts

• #### Popular Posts For me, the answer is 1. I've done reasonably high level maths and engineering calculations, and my instinct is that the 2 outside and immediately adjacent to the brackets belongs to and operates actually " divided" could be 99% vs 1 % Ya think maybe we are just a tad bored today. 6 hours ago, Bama said:

How to Get to an Answer of 1

Here's the equation once again: 8 / 2(2+2)

First, add the numbers in the parenthesis, which equal 4. Then, to finish off the parenthesis, multiply 4 by the 2, which equals 8. Then, 8 divided by 8 is 1.

Now technically, even though the internet is torn, the correct answer is 16. BUT before you @ me, hear me out: say the equation was 8 / 2 x 4, thus eliminating the parenthesis component completely. You would always work from left to right, which would give you the answer of 16 (8 divided by 2 is 4, times 4 is 16).

For me, the answer is 1.

I've done reasonably high level maths and engineering calculations, and my instinct is that the 2 outside and immediately adjacent to the brackets belongs to and operates on the brackets as a single expression to be calculated first.

If I wanted the answer 16 which the author prefers, I would write (8 ÷ 2) x (2 + 2) for absolute clarity.

Just my thoughts, I'd hate the next rocket to Mars to depend on it!

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##### Share on other sites 16.

##### Share on other sites There is no rule about working from left to right on the equation. There is, however, a rule that says you must perform any multiplication before you perform any division, and the only way you can get 16 as your answer is to break that rule. he answer is 1.

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##### Share on other sites If you punch it into your computer you will get 16.

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##### Share on other sites There is no rule about working from left to right on the equation.

Yes, there is.

There is, however, a rule that says you must perform any multiplication before you perform any division

No, multiplication and division are on the same level.  In fact, they are the same operation.  Division is multiplication by a fraction.

Really, it should probably be written PE(MD)(AS).  Addition and subtraction are also on the same level for the same reason.

It's just a poorly written equation, probably by some math teacher looking to confuse kids on a test.

Edited by SkyMan
##### Share on other sites 50 minutes ago, Salty Dog said:

If you punch it into your computer you will get 16.

Don't know if you used Excel but it agrees.

##### Share on other sites For rpn fans.....

8 enter

2  /

2 enter

2 +

*

Yielding 16

##### Share on other sites The thread is called "the Internet is completely divided" over this answer.  Hard to imagine that even a small percentage of the persons on the internet have even weighed in on this subject..  but ok..

But if indeed this is true..  then 1/2 of the Internet has the right answer,..  and will gain no benefit from my answer.

And the other half of the internet..  well..  they couldn't handle the right answer.. so they'll also gain no benefit from my answer.

And since when do I wish to join the lemmings in their headlong flight.

So I'll make spaghetti for lunch instead. At least my son will be happy.

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##### Share on other sites 6 minutes ago, to_dave007 said:

then 1/2 of the Internet has the right answer

actually " divided" could be 99% vs 1 %

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##### Share on other sites 2 minutes ago, Davaoeno said:

actually " divided" could be 99% vs 1 %

Mmmm..  perhaps..  But "completely" divided would suggest a more even split closer to 50/50.  I'm SURE that's why the attorney added the word.

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##### Share on other sites 4 minutes ago, Davaoeno said:

actually " divided" could be 99% vs 1 %

That's Divided.

The OP said "Completely  Divided"… ##### Share on other sites au contraire - i believe that " completely divided" means that there is no remainder after the division is done .    12 can be completely divided by 2, 3, 4 6 but not 5 or 7

##### Share on other sites 5 minutes ago, to_dave007 said:

Mmmm..  perhaps..  But "completely" divided would suggest a more even split closer to 50/50.  I'm SURE that's why the attorney added the word.

Wouldn't that be "Equally Divided"… • 1
##### Share on other sites 1 minute ago, Salty Dog said:

Wouldn't that be "Equally Divided"… finally something I can agree with !!! ## Create an account

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