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## a = 7, b = 6, 3a ÷ 3b = ?

a = 7, b = 6, 3a ÷ 3b = ?

Is is 7/6 or 42?

This is an ongoing argument on another forum (over 350 posts!) with no end in sight. I'm curious what you all consider to be the correct answer.

Philip
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Limecat is not pleased.
Hi,

So this is some programming squit is it since even though I wasn't that fond of maths, over here in Europe, if it's considered as an equation it should normally be seen to be :

(3xa) ÷ (3xb) = ?

21 ÷ 18 = ?

John
Significant Media
That's how I see it.

I was taught that:

3a ÷ 3b = (3a) ÷ (3b)

and that 3a and 3b should each be treated as a single number, and you can't arbitrarily ungroup them. Parenthesis are often left out of such simple groupings until the expression is solved.

Alas, these guys defy all common sense. They say that because 3a and 3b are not enclosed in parenthesis, than the equation literally means:

3 * a ÷ 3 * b = ?

and should be solved left to right, resulting in 42.

Philip
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Limecat is not pleased.
Hi,

Well at least we agree. It just means that it's not a good idea to do business with them , unless they use their maths to calculate how much interest they owe you LOL.

John
Significant Media
I see it as 21 ÷ 18 also. It is just three lots of "a" divided by three lots of "b". Multiplication is never implied.

I think if they are trying to claim otherwise then they are trying to outsmart themselves.
Code:
3a a 7 _
3a
÷ 3b = -- = - = - = 7 * (6)^-1 = 1,16
3b b 6

my 2 cents