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Johnny_Thunder Posted on 13/04/2011 16:28

2 or 288


Taken this from another forum I visit.
It has turned into quite a long discussion.
Apparently even calculators etc. do not give one consistent answer.

centralscrutinizer Posted on 13/04/2011 16:30


Bobby_Braithwaite Posted on 13/04/2011 16:32

Ask her off Countdown

But in my book it's 2 (48/24)

goalscrounger Posted on 13/04/2011 16:33

Hmmm, I reckon the convention would be to expand the bracket full before dividing 48 by the result so I'm going with 2.

mfc___ Posted on 13/04/2011 16:33

it's 2, an extra set of brackets to make it 48/(2(9+3)) would make sort out the problem with the calculators.

Johnny_Thunder Posted on 13/04/2011 16:35

Adding more brackets is changing the sum though.

Metroman Posted on 13/04/2011 16:36

2 defo

mikeyyyy Posted on 13/04/2011 16:36

Brackets first
Orders (ie Powers and Square Roots, etc.)
Division and Multiplication (left-to-right)
Addition and Subtraction (left-to-right)

abcdefg Posted on 13/04/2011 16:36

Seen this on a few forums lately, I thought it was 2, but apparently it's 288.

Link: Calculator

mikeyyyy Posted on 13/04/2011 16:37

definietely NOT 2 based on the rules

Stellify Posted on 13/04/2011 16:38

288. BODMAS. then left to right make it 24x12.

Parno Posted on 13/04/2011 16:39


Brackets first

Divide second

Multiply third

stevie-g888 Posted on 13/04/2011 16:39

2 for me as well[^]

Metroman Posted on 13/04/2011 16:41

oh i always thought you multiplied before dividing

nottyboy Posted on 13/04/2011 16:41

BODMAS - so as division comes before multiplacation its 48 divided by 2 (= 24) and then multipy that by 12 equals 288

Capybara Posted on 13/04/2011 16:43

It simply shows that, as in language, putting down what you mean rather than what you think you mean is important otherwise what you put is open to misinterpretation or ambiguity [smi]

Humpty Posted on 13/04/2011 16:44

the answer is 2

Stuart_MFC Posted on 13/04/2011 16:45

It is 2 and the rules named do prove it.

48/2(9+3) is 48/2(12).
It does not become 48/2x12 as a result of adding the numbers in the brackets. In order to get rid of the brackets they must be multiplied out first as the rules say.
So it is then 48/24 = 2

foggysfplandiet Posted on 13/04/2011 16:47

BODMAS says it's 288, that's about the only thing I remember from maths class at school!

Stuart_MFC Posted on 13/04/2011 16:51

BODMAS proves it is 2 [^]

Stellify Posted on 13/04/2011 16:54

Stuart, only what's in the brackets needs to be done under the brackets rule. Therefore once you have added the contents of the brackets together you divide, then multiply.

48/2(9+3) = 48/2x12.

Then you divide by the 2 to get: 24x12.

Answer: 288.

Grrreds Posted on 13/04/2011 16:56


Jonny_Rondos_Disco_pants Posted on 13/04/2011 17:04

my casio fx-991ES Plus says the answer is 2.

mickymacc Posted on 13/04/2011 17:06

288, the sum of the outside by the sum of the inside,the brakets make them seperate,which is why they are there.

Stellify Posted on 13/04/2011 17:07

My Casio fx-85ES says 288.


Boro_Gypo Posted on 13/04/2011 17:08

This is without doubt 288. Brackets then Divide then multiply

Take that with someone who has fairly recently completed A levels in further maths [^]

TheSmogMonster Posted on 13/04/2011 17:10

I thought it was 288, and if you type it into google of all things it gives 288.

Link: Hitler being told about the problem...

centralscrutinizer Posted on 13/04/2011 17:12

A levels aren't as hard as they used to be though [:D]

How would you actually write the equation if you hadn't seen the one in the OP ?

PinkPonce Posted on 13/04/2011 17:16

Swap the box [^]

PP ... x

joeybudden Posted on 13/04/2011 17:21

9+3=12 × 24 = 288. When you see a bracket you have to times it guys.

BurneoFunction Posted on 13/04/2011 17:42

Well putting my physics degree to use... it's 2

The_GOAT Posted on 13/04/2011 17:44

I tried using the calculater on my computer, which came out with 4. Bless.

Following the rules comes out with 288, as the division comes first, and the brackets have been multipled out..?


susy Posted on 13/04/2011 17:46

its 288

48 divided by 2 = 24
Therefore the sum is 24 x 12 which = 288

Way_Out_West Posted on 13/04/2011 17:47

It's 288, take it from someone with a maths degree (if that's worth anything!)

goalscrounger Posted on 13/04/2011 17:47


And those slaves to BODMAS (or BIDMAS as it has now become) need to be aware that the D and M are interchangeable, as are the A and S but BODMAS sounds much better than BOMDAS, BODMSA, BOMDSA (if you don't agree, then maybe if you tink of dividing by 2 as being the same as multiplying by 0.5 and subtracting 3 as being the same as adding -3 it will make more sense?!)

HotshotMFC Posted on 13/04/2011 17:49


Capybara Posted on 13/04/2011 17:51

It simply shows that, as in language, putting down what you mean rather than what you think you mean is important otherwise what you put is open to misinterpretation or ambiguity.

Just in case you didn't read it earlier.

mattyk50 Posted on 13/04/2011 17:53

i make it 24 x 12

TheOneThatGoesBounce Posted on 13/04/2011 17:54

You have to fully multiply out the brackets first, so it comes to 48/24=2
in BODMAS D and M are interchangeable so it does not necessarily matter which way it is done.

Johnny_Thunder Posted on 13/04/2011 17:57

But if it doesn't matter which way it's done then that must mean that both answers are correct.

Way_Out_West Posted on 13/04/2011 18:03

The B of BODMAS applies to what is in the brackets, not what is outside the brackets (in this case the 2), which makes it 48÷2(12)=
As D and M have equal weight, then work left to right.

For the answer to be 2 the sum would be 48÷(2(9+3))

PhillyMac Posted on 13/04/2011 18:14

I think what makes this tricky is the missing multiplication sign. The immediate instinct is to multiply out the brackets.

Sticking the multiplication sign in makes it clearer, without changing the equation or the answer.


degsyspesh Posted on 13/04/2011 18:18

Anyone saying anything other than 2 is fairly clueless when it comes to maths....

goalscrounger Posted on 13/04/2011 18:19

I agree Philly.....written 48÷2(12) it's begging to turn into 2, but written 48÷2x12 then it's obviously 288.

However, writing it as a quotient (ie 48 OVER 2(12)) makes it look like 2 again although perhaps that's the equivalent of writing 48÷(2(12)) ??

Corcaigh_the_Cat Posted on 13/04/2011 18:28


Stellify Posted on 13/04/2011 18:29



Anubis Posted on 13/04/2011 18:48

Is this the equation that works out the odds of a 8 dart finish ?

PhillyMac Posted on 13/04/2011 19:03

degsyspesh: Why would you say that?[?]

PhillyMac Posted on 13/04/2011 19:06

In Google We Trust

Link: By clicking I agree to abide by Google's answer

The_GOAT Posted on 13/04/2011 19:08

Explores arguments for both.

Link: Link

susy Posted on 14/04/2011 18:41

Just had a discussionin the pub and a young lady came over and she reminded me that when there are brackets next to a number then you have to do that bit first so therefore I change my answer to 2 now [:D]

boromike85 Posted on 14/04/2011 18:56

Brackets 1st so:


They are connected so are included in the brackets part.

Then you are left with 48/24=2

Julios_Hairband Posted on 14/04/2011 19:01

But 2(9+3) is just a shorthand of writing 2*(9+3), the 2 doesn't magically become part of the brackets. You can't pretend that the '*' isn't there or else you can't do the multiplication, and you're left with a rather meaningless bunch of numbers.

SidSnot Posted on 14/04/2011 19:08

Link: Hitler being told about the problem...

"I should have done media studies" [:D]

I think answer is 2. If you wrote it as 48/2(9+3), then it would be 2.

Julios_Hairband Posted on 14/04/2011 19:28

That's still ambiguous though Sid (when written in this kind of text, you could clarify if handwritten). It's like if you write 48/2x, does that mean (48/2)x or 48/(2x)?

So you could say (48/2)(9+3) or 48/(2(9+3)). Neither are automatically correct.

myboro Posted on 14/04/2011 19:35

Cheers Degsy its 288

If you write 48÷2*(9+3) it becomes clear
There are arguments to multiply out the brackets but that goes against the order of precedence where equal precedence is from left to right! You therefore divide before you multiply.

48÷2*(9+3) is exactly the same as 48÷2(9+3)

Stellify Posted on 14/04/2011 19:38



Julios_Hairband Posted on 14/04/2011 19:40

In order to make the 2 a 'part' of the brackets, you'd have to infer that 2(9+3) actually means (2*(9+3)) rather than just 2*(9+3), which I think is stretching things.

ron_manager Posted on 14/04/2011 19:41

I did straight away and came up with can't decieve BODMAS[:D]

LTS_3 Posted on 14/04/2011 19:45

I did it just by looking at it, without thinking about bodmas. I have an A in ALevel Statistics and my answer was 288

SidSnot Posted on 14/04/2011 19:50

That's still ambiguous though Sid (when written in this kind of text, you could clarify if handwritten). It's like if you write 48/2x, does that mean (48/2)x or 48/(2x)?

So you could say (48/2)(9+3) or 48/(2(9+3)). Neither are automatically correct.

All good points. I was thinking 48/(2(9+3))...

coluka Posted on 14/04/2011 20:21

I did proper O levels - its 288 chaps and chapesses [^]

jannizart Posted on 14/04/2011 20:23

Definitely 2, as my A level pure maths teacher taught us. You always work out the parts between the symbols until you have just one number and then finish it as a normal calculation

Podgietits Posted on 14/04/2011 21:21

its definately 288...simple as that!

why are people stating that the 2 is part of the brackets when it is outside the brackets?

its 288
its 288
its 288
its 288
its 288
its 288
its 288
its 288


wherestheremote Posted on 14/04/2011 21:32

I ran this past my maths guru and he reckons:

"What the discussion misses is that the fact that one can only miss out a multiplication sign if it is in the same expression. ie the 2(9+3) is one number by virtue of the implied multiplication sign which is missing. 2 lots of (9+3)"

Sounds good to me.... [^]

stedontsurf Posted on 14/04/2011 21:38

"I tried using the calculater on my computer, which came out with 4. Bless."

[:D] Haha! Dunno why but that made me laugh out!

centralscrutinizer Posted on 14/04/2011 21:41

"Sounds good to me.... [^]"

So the answer is 2 then, excellent [^]

junouk Posted on 14/04/2011 22:00


Rule 1: First perform any calculations **INSIDE** parentheses.
Rule 2: Next perform all multiplications and divisions, working from left to right.
Rule 3: Lastly, perform all additions and subtractions, working from left to right

Brackets (9+3)
perform rule 2. As both /and * come in the same rule you start at the left.

Total 288

Easy pmsl. I have no idea but this way works for me. But then I am sure someone can make me believe it's 2

rt_boro Posted on 14/04/2011 22:13

im sorry, nut it is 2

the 2nd part of bodmas is


that means where a numerator/denominator is used.

brackets first, 9+3=12
then over ie 48, over, 2*12
then then 2*12 is 24.
remember, you dont divide, you just take into account the 'over' part.


centralscrutinizer Posted on 14/04/2011 22:13

I reckon that the absence of a X sign between 2 and (9+3) means that they are part of the same expression and so are used to divide the 48.

So 2 is the answer [cr][cr][cr][cr]

Big_Jacks_Sweater Posted on 14/04/2011 22:17

It's 2
It's 2
It's 2

IT IS FCUKING 2!!!!!!!!!

48/2(9+3) =

ie 12*2 (24) is the DENOMINATOR

You do not divide by 2 and the multiply the whole thing by 12 ffs.

Some of you must of done maths at the Gordon Brown School of Ecconomics where 2 actually equals 288 !

Way_Out_West Posted on 14/04/2011 22:17


the 'o' is order, not over. Over is just another word for division.

Corcaigh_the_Cat Posted on 14/04/2011 22:24

'Some of you must of done maths at' the same school you were taught English.

Big_Jacks_Sweater Posted on 14/04/2011 22:27

For this equation to equal 288 would require brackets around the 48/2

(48/2)(9+3) =

24 x 12 - 288

without the brackets it is 2.

Trust me I taught the bloke off Numbers [;)]

Big_Jacks_Sweater Posted on 14/04/2011 22:30

Exactly an engineer and mathmatician not a fcuking poet !

Eeveryone knows good engineers can't spell

superstu Posted on 14/04/2011 22:30

Blue Peter badge for Big_Jacks_Sweater. Fully correct in everything he's said there. The answer is 2.

sheriff_john_bunnell Posted on 14/04/2011 22:31

As someone with a 2.1 BA(hons) Media Studies I wouldn't know. Watch a Sidney lumet film instead. [^]

Dan_Ashcroft Posted on 14/04/2011 23:36


As has been pointed out, it actually reads:


So once you've done the brackets, you get


And then following then standards, you get 288

TheSmogMonster Posted on 14/04/2011 23:43

It's 288; some people clearly can't follow the correct order of doing things.

Grumpy_Paul Posted on 14/04/2011 23:46


Never mind you lot with Ologies, I got a CSE Grade 1 in mathematics[ref][;)]

I can see the thinking behind 2 but when I was at school all those years ago the answer was 288

jannizart Posted on 15/04/2011 00:24

Sorry Grumpy but I got grade 1 O level and did A level and it's still 2 - hope you are still coming to my art exhibition - invites in thee mail post tomorrow[smi]

degsyspesh Posted on 15/04/2011 00:41

And the winner is........

""What the discussion misses is that the fact that one can only miss out a multiplication sign if it is in the same expression. ie the 2(9+3) is one number by virtue of the implied multiplication sign which is missing. 2 lots of (9+3)"

Egg f'king zactly.

48/ 2(9+3) is not the f'king same as 48/ 2 x (9+3).

You can only miss out a multiplication sign if it is a single expression.

Stuart_MFC Posted on 15/04/2011 01:11

The problem is simply because of the way it is formatted on a computer screen.

If you read it as 48 over 2(9+3) then the 2(9+3) is one expression so the answer is 2.

However if you read it as 48/2 then the (9+3) separate then the answer is 288. However for this way to be correct the 48/2 should be in brackets also ie (48/2)(9+3). Otherwise the 2(9+3) MUST be taken as a single expression meaning the answer is 2!

Also been as everyone else is throwing their qualifications out there I am doing A level maths as we speak [B)]

Looks like I may struggle in my exams if this is proven wrong [:D][cr]

degsyspesh Posted on 15/04/2011 01:41

This is barely GCSE maths.

(but if we're adding qualifications I have GCSE, A'level, Engineering Degree and Engineering Masters maths)

RedRoser Posted on 15/04/2011 01:59

Its been a while but I reckon

48/2(9+3)= x

?? [:D]

nzedred Posted on 15/04/2011 02:02

easy so long as you use the rule that multiplication and division come first


48/2 * (9+3)

24 * 12

= 288

to get 2

you need extra brackets


TheSmogMonster Posted on 15/04/2011 02:06

Having read up on this now I realise this is all a big internet troll taking advantage of the fact that there isn't a law governing this and only a convention.

Lots of textbooks say one, lots say the other, but the move in recent times has been towards the 288 way of working it out and many calculator manufacturers for instance have stopped implied multiplication of brackets taking precedence over left to right.

It's badly expressed deliberately to get people arguing.

PhillyMac Posted on 15/04/2011 04:31

"It's badly expressed deliberately to get people arguing."

No it f***ing isn't.

100Rod100 Posted on 15/04/2011 09:09


its not badly expressed - those that get 2 are simply wrong [8)]

Muttley Posted on 15/04/2011 10:00

I must ask a maths teacher!

newyddion Posted on 15/04/2011 10:02

I can't see how anyone cannot get 288 [rle]

centralscrutinizer Posted on 15/04/2011 10:07


E-PRIME Posted on 15/04/2011 10:27

The question isn't put in the correct format.

It's a non question. At the moment, what it is asking is ambiguous.

Another pair of brackets are required.

Pointless discussing it further.

It's like asking "what would you like for?"

to which the answer could be ham sandwich if it was on about lunch or Aston Martin if it was on about your birthday.

Boro_Gypo Posted on 15/04/2011 11:04

The way it is written the answer is 288.

The only way it would answer 2 is if it was written


Thefore incorporating the bracket into the denominator.

But as it isn't the answer is 288. The way it is written is the same as

2 x (9+3)

Dan_Ashcroft Posted on 15/04/2011 11:23

The people who say it's 2 are interpreting the equation as:


Which is this: 48÷(2(9+3))

Dan_Ashcroft Posted on 15/04/2011 11:24

Sorry Boro Gypo, I didn't read your post there, but see we're in agreement! [^]

mar10 Posted on 15/04/2011 11:26

48/2(9+3) = 2

as the 2 is part of the bracket! which you work out first.

for it to be 288 the equation would need to be:


Capybara Posted on 15/04/2011 11:29

Am I the only one to find it ironic that an a board where the '=' sign is used incorrectly on a daily basis there are so many anxious to defend the strict interpretation of mathematical symbols?

Dan_Ashcroft Posted on 15/04/2011 11:31

'Bara = correct

beerfordolphins Posted on 15/04/2011 11:33
48÷2(9+3)= we are missing out implied multiplication signs I get it to 192..

4 x 8 / 2 x (9 + 3) = 192 are all thick...[;)]

mar10 Posted on 15/04/2011 11:34


100Rod100 Posted on 15/04/2011 11:51

mar10 - the 2 isnt part of the bracket as it isnt inside it. you multiply the answer in the bracket by the answer outside of the bracket.

Lefty Posted on 15/04/2011 11:54


mar10 Posted on 15/04/2011 11:54

yes so the 9(12)=24

as you get rid of the brackets first so the 2 is part of the equation.

and then your left with 48/24 = 2


Rocky10 Posted on 15/04/2011 11:56

Just sent this to everyone at work.

Phuq me some of the answers

One lad come back with 234.

I asked him how 24 x 11 wrong on so many levels and he's an engineer.

My two penneth worth

x = 48/2(9+3)
x = 48/2(12)simplify the equation by cross deviding
x/12 = 48/2
x/12 = 24
x = 24 x 12
x = 288

et viola

Although my calculator says its 2[?]

100Rod100 Posted on 15/04/2011 11:58

no it isnt.

it is 48/2(9+3) =
48/2(12) =
24(12) =

i honestly dont follow your logic like.

mar10 Posted on 15/04/2011 11:59


Not exactly rocket science [^]

100Rod100 Posted on 15/04/2011 12:01

no it isnt.

but not working out correctly isnt mathematics neither [8)]

joeybudden Posted on 15/04/2011 12:01


Brackets first - 9 + 3 = 12

division second - 48/2 = 24

then finally - 24 x 12 = 288.

I don't have a maths degree but I don't even need one to tell you that.

mar10 Posted on 15/04/2011 12:03

You times the 2 with the (12) before you divide by the 48 as its part of the sum with the bracket which you do first !!!!!


joeybudden Posted on 15/04/2011 12:04

'You times the 2 with the (12) before you divide'

No you don't, according to bodmas the divide comes before the multiplication.

mar10 Posted on 15/04/2011 12:05

Oh dear [:D][:D][:D][:D]

mar10 Posted on 15/04/2011 12:06

yes and the bracket comes before divide[^]

joeybudden Posted on 15/04/2011 12:07

The thing that's inside the bracket comes before yes.

Hurworth Posted on 15/04/2011 12:08


B = Brackets
O = Of (which means multiplication)
D = Division
M = Multiplication
A = Addition
S = Subtraction


48÷2(9+3) = 2

Brackets 48÷2(12)
Of 48÷2x12
Division 48÷24 = 2

jiffy Posted on 15/04/2011 12:08

A lot of idiots here who think 48/2(12) is another way of writing 48/2*12

It is not.

The way it is written is highly significant

48/2*12 would equal 288

Bit 48/2(12) by BODMAS rules means the bracket has to be dealt with before the divide.

Answer is 2.

This is the ONLY correct solution.

If you have a calcuator that is giving you 288 then take it back as it is faulty.

oooooo Posted on 15/04/2011 12:09

It's ambiguous. Im with dan_Ashcroft on this. Why use brackets to clarify the order of precedence on the multiplication, and omit them on the division?

It's a poorly written expression and while 288 is correct, if I saw someone write that out I'd ask what they were doing FFS!

mar10 Posted on 15/04/2011 12:10

2(9+3) is the bit you work out first as its all in connection with the brack and then you divide by 48 [^]

someone is on a wind up here [:D][ref]

Stellify Posted on 15/04/2011 12:11

The 2 isn't part of the bracket. It's OUTSIDE the bracket. The answer is 288 according to BODMAS and the LEFT to RIGHT rule.

It's not hard.

Hurworth Posted on 15/04/2011 12:11

It is not poorly written and conforms to the arithmetic convention of BODMAS.

EDIT: There are some on here who don't understand BODMAS, what the "O" represents and where it fits into the arithmetic process.

joeybudden Posted on 15/04/2011 12:12

Thank you Stell.

mar10 Posted on 15/04/2011 12:13

"The 2 isn't part of the bracket. It's OUTSIDE the bracket. The answer is 288 according to BODMAS and the LEFT to RIGHT rule.

It's not hard."

It must be for you as you keep getting it wrong [:D]

joeybudden Posted on 15/04/2011 12:14

Mar... No offense but I think you need to revise a bit.

Stellify Posted on 15/04/2011 12:16

2(9+3) is the same as 2 x (9+3)

Therefore you work the bracket out first as 12. So you get 48÷2 x 12. The divide first as according to BODMAS and the LEFT TO RIGHT rule. 48÷2 = 24. Now you have 24 x 12.

This equals 288. It's like been in primary school.

Rocky10 Posted on 15/04/2011 12:16


48/2*12 would equal 288

Bit 48/2(12) by BODMAS rules means the bracket has to be dealt with before the divide.

The next step in the BODMAS rule would be to deal with the division element of the sum so 48/2 = 24

The 24 X 12 by implication equals 288

mar10 Posted on 15/04/2011 12:17

Yes obviously [:D][:D][:D][:D]

SuperBok Posted on 15/04/2011 12:18

not bothered either way about this me like

mar10 Posted on 15/04/2011 12:21

the answer is 2, everyone. Look, a math problem can be solved in many different ways, and you’ll get the right answer every single time.

The controversial PEMDAS, BOMDAS way:

The 2(12) has to be together, not because I’m prioritizing M over D. It is because it is altogether, just as 2x would be. (I will explain this further under substitution.)

DISTRIBUTIVE PROPERTY, which is for those who don’t know, A(B+C)=AB+AC:

SUBSTITUTION, which in this case, we will substitute x=(9+3):

You don’t do 48÷2 first because there’s a variable there and get 24x. First, you find the x:

So, now, you have 2x.

If you want to take the SUBSTITUTION further, you can make it that y=48 and x=(9+3).

2x is together. The only way y÷2 could be a fraction is if it’s (y÷2)x.

Another way to use SUBSTITUTION, using PEMDAS/BOMDAS as well: This is why 2(12) is together. Let’s substitute x=12, assuming we have already added what’s in the parenthesis. 9+3=12

48÷2x; x=12

You can’t assume that (48÷2)x. That’s an entirely different problem. First, you have to find 2x.

Using the CALCULATOR, you have to recognize that 2(9+3) is together, so you have to type it like so:


Otherwise, it naturally assumes you want (48÷2)(9+3).
It’s similar to how you use boolean phrases on a computer in terms of computer programming and even a simple Google search. If you want to search for “new Mexico laws”, as in the Mexico country’s laws, you would type “new Mexico laws”. But if you want to search US state New Mexico’s laws, you can’t just capitalize the “n” and assume the computer would recognize the proper noun. (i can just type like this with no capitalization or commas and the computer wouldn’t care.) You have to put parenthesis around “New Mexico” like so: “‘new mexico’ laws”. That’s because “New Mexico” is one whole idea just as 2(9+3) or in substitution, 2x is one whole idea.


By COMMUTATIVE PROPERTY, which is AB=BA, those assuming that we have to do the problem LEFT TO RIGHT is also assuming that the problem can be like so:

If you want to work by THAT, then, you’re assuming that this problem is the same as the original:
9+3(48÷2) ≠ 48÷2(9+3)

That’s a completely different problem, and this would get a completely different answer besides 288 and 2. (The answer is 81.)


Stellify Posted on 15/04/2011 12:24

No it's not [:o)].

Hurworth Posted on 15/04/2011 12:27

Yes it is 2.

mar10 Posted on 15/04/2011 12:30

Either way theres still a 2 in the answer so im right [;)]

Johnny_Thunder Posted on 15/04/2011 12:31


mar10 Posted on 15/04/2011 12:34

Just look at the chew you have caused Johnny [:D][:P]

centralscrutinizer Posted on 15/04/2011 12:35

Why don't we all compromise and say its 145.
Then we can all move on with our lives.[sad]

Bobby_Braithwaite Posted on 15/04/2011 12:42

Did anyone ask her off Countdown?

TheSmogMonster Posted on 15/04/2011 12:42

As I said earlier, its a new troll meme to get people arguing, because there are two ways of doing it.

If you're arguing anyone is an idiot for doing it one way then you ARE the idiot.

The guy who put this together must be wetting himself at how many sites are arguing about this at the moment.

Stuart_MFC Posted on 15/04/2011 12:46

Maths big problems, solved on FMTTM [ref][:D]

Hurworth Posted on 15/04/2011 12:47

"If you're arguing anyone is an idiot for doing it one way then you ARE the idiot."

There are not two ways of doing this simple arithmetic equation as there is only one solution following the correct process.

By-the-way the correct answer to the equation can only be 2.

Way_Out_West Posted on 15/04/2011 12:50

haha all that working out mar10, and you're still wrong!

mar10 Posted on 15/04/2011 12:50

Every engineer and maths teacher i have asked say its 2 so it has to be 2 or we are fcuked as a nation if engineers can't do maths [sad]

Bobby_Braithwaite Posted on 15/04/2011 12:51

"As I said earlier, its a new troll meme to get people arguing, because there are two ways of doing it."


But not in the way you are suggesting.

In this instance there's a right way and a wrong way.

The answer is still 2

Stellify Posted on 15/04/2011 12:52

My calculater says 288 so maybe all these Engineers and Teachers use a calculator to do there sums?


superstu Posted on 15/04/2011 12:54

mar10's right W_O_W. Proper, proper right.

mar10 Posted on 15/04/2011 12:55


end of. [^]

Stuart_MFC Posted on 15/04/2011 12:56

My calculator says 2.

mar10 Posted on 15/04/2011 12:57

"haha all that working out mar10, and you're still wrong!"

Ok i admit i copy and pasted it of the internet [:P]

Bobby_Braithwaite Posted on 15/04/2011 13:01


Engineers are never wrong.

We give correct answers based on the information available at the time.

If subsequently more inforamtion becomes availbe we may give a different answer to the first one. Again that answer is correct based on the updated information.

29022004 Posted on 15/04/2011 13:04

2:1 Engineering degree says 2, Excel spreadsheet says 288.

Bobby_Braithwaite Posted on 15/04/2011 13:06

"Excel spreadsheet says 288"

So what?

That's an American system and when do they ever get anything right?

TheSmogMonster Posted on 15/04/2011 13:20

I think this is the best confirmation bias question in history.

In this thread you can see how religious factions appear......

PinkPonce Posted on 15/04/2011 13:23

FFS - Swap the boxes [ref]

PP ... x

Hurworth Posted on 15/04/2011 13:24

This thread has not mentioned ...........................YET:-

1. smashing someones back doors in.

2. what a shower of shíte all Tory/Labour?Lib Dem politicians are.

3. I'm not renewing my season card until (insert reason) has gone.

Etc,. Etc.

Rocky10 Posted on 15/04/2011 13:29

It hasn't mentioned

Or M Viduka's insurance money


PinkPonce Posted on 15/04/2011 13:30

Go on Forty Lad.

PP ... x

Manfriday Posted on 15/04/2011 13:50

I reckon its 2. The lack of the x sign next to the brackets means you do that before dividing the 48. Well we did when i was at school

Ron_B Posted on 15/04/2011 13:54


I took me socks and shoes off and all to work that out.


Buddy Posted on 15/04/2011 13:55

"Excel spreadsheet says 288."

No it doesn't. The closest you can enter is:


and even then it says it has found an error and self-corrects it to:


For my money the correct answer is 0.01171875. See if you can work out how I got there.

Buddy Posted on 15/04/2011 13:57

By the way - seriously - where did this BODMAS nonsense come from? Never heard of it before this thread.

jannizart Posted on 15/04/2011 13:59

It was 2 yesterday and it's still 2 today.
If I have to go dig up my maths teacher to prove it I will ...... maybe not but she would have you all agreeing as she was a very scary maths teacher.
What have you started Johnny!!

Capybara Posted on 15/04/2011 14:03

I'm with oooooo, Bobby and Buddy on this. You should write what you mean so there can be no misunderstanding. And I'm particularly with oooooo's 'FFS'.

TodayitisHallidaySundaycomesafterwards Posted on 15/04/2011 14:10

Substitute (9+3) for an x and you get


When trying to work that out would you;

Divide 48 by 2 then multiply the result by x?

No you wouldn't, you would consider 2x to be the figure, not 2 and an x

boro74 Posted on 15/04/2011 14:30

To get the answer 2 you have interpret the equation as 48/(2(9+3))

To get the answer 288 you have to interpret the equation as (48/2)*(9+3)

The equation in the opening post

i.e 48/2(9+3)

can be interpreted both ways.

Hurworth Posted on 15/04/2011 14:35

No, it can't be interpreted two ways. The way that the equation is written is perfectly acceptable.

The solution is dependant upon the BODMAS process being correctly applied.

Buddy Posted on 15/04/2011 14:39

Nobody able to tell me when and where BODMAS came from then?

Or how I got "less than a fiftieth" as my answer?

susy Posted on 15/04/2011 14:40

Have a read of this..... some answers are incredibly funny

Link: Wall streets answers

Hurworth Posted on 15/04/2011 14:43

BODMAS is merely a universal convention and process for solving "complex" arithmetical strings of mixed terms.

The process ensures that the answer is correct by all that employ the convention correctly as described previously.

TheSmogMonster Posted on 15/04/2011 14:53

BODMAS isn't a convention it's a mnemonic to teach kids the correct order to do things in and it's generally correct.

It all goes on whether you think the implied 2x is before the to right priority of normal multiplication and division.

Besides a convention is just that, a convention, it's not the same as actual mathematics it's just a way of regulating expressions so they can be easily read and thats why this one is a big Troll.

Julios_Hairband Posted on 15/04/2011 14:56

"For my money the correct answer is 0.01171875. See if you can work out how I got there."


Hurworth Posted on 15/04/2011 15:00

"BODMAS isn't a convention"

Have you studied maths at all? BODMAS is a mathematical convention universally accepted as a process, for example 1+2 = 3.

If it was not universally conventional then it would have different meanings with different results as identified by those who don't know how to apply the BODMAS rules.

Julios_Hairband Posted on 15/04/2011 15:02

"universally accepted as a process"

Except there seems to be disagreement on whether D or M should come first (some people, generally Americans, are citing PEMDAS), or just be performed as they occur from left to right in the equation.

TheSmogMonster Posted on 15/04/2011 15:05

I did it at A-Level, but it doesn't make a difference, facts are facts.

I'm going to quote wikipedia here.

"Mnemonics are often used to help students remember the rules, but the rules taught by the use of acronyms can be misleading. In Canada the acronym BEDMAS is common. It stands for Brackets, Exponents, Division, Multiplication, Addition, Subtraction. In other English speaking countries, Brackets may be called Parentheses, or symbols of inclusion and Exponentiation may be called either Indices, Powers or Orders, and since multiplication and division are of equal precedence, M and D are often interchanged, leading to such acronyms as BIMDAS, BODMAS, BOMDAS, BERDMAS, PERDMAS, PEMDAS, and BPODMAS.

These mnemonics may be misleading, especially if the user is not aware that multiplication and division are of equal precedence, as are addition and subtraction. Using any of the above rules in the order "addition first, subtraction afterward" would also give the wrong answer."

If it was the be all and end all why are there like 10 different ones?

Why does that article call them mnemonics?

Why does it say they may be misleading?

It's a mnemonic to help kids remember it, you've remembered it the way you were taught it.

Like I said, confirmation bias.

Hurworth Posted on 15/04/2011 15:06

Those who are getting the result as 288 obviously don't know what the "O" represents in the BODMAS acronym.

Julios_Hairband Posted on 15/04/2011 15:08

"Those who are getting the result as 288 obviously don't know what the "O" represents in the BODMAS acronym."

*Makes bet with self*

Please, enlighten us.

Hurworth Posted on 15/04/2011 15:11

Look at my previous post, where all the terms of the acronym are explained in words of one syllable. Timed at 12:08.

Julios_Hairband Posted on 15/04/2011 15:12

"Look at my previous post, where all the terms of the acronym are explained in words of one syllable."

Ah, just did. That's even funnier than I thought.

*Loses bet, but laughs*

The second term in Bodmas, Bidmas or Pedmas, whatever you call it, is order/index/exponent. You could also say power, but that'd get confused with parentheses. In any case, it doesn't mean multiplication.

TheSmogMonster Posted on 15/04/2011 15:18

Yeah, aside from ignoring my post you've actually got Bodmas wrong too... [:P]

Hurworth Posted on 15/04/2011 15:19

BODMAS has served me well through "0" and "A" Levels plus an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering so you'll forgive me if I'm based towards that acronym.

superstu Posted on 15/04/2011 15:23

Why are people arguing what the O in BODMAS stands for? You don't even use it in this cheeky sum. B for Brackets. Get them brackets sorted out. Can't just add 9 and 3 and then leave it as 48÷2(12) and move on to the D, cause you've still got the chuffing brackets. Get rid.

Julios_Hairband Posted on 15/04/2011 15:24

"BODMAS has served me well through "0" and "A" Levels plus an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering so you'll forgive me if I'm based towards that acronym."

Perhaps, but if you think that the 'O' means Of, which then means multiplication, you've been a very lucky boy.

superstu Posted on 15/04/2011 15:26

Seriously, the arconym may as well just be BD for this sum. The O's doing nout. Let it go lads, eh?

jiffy Posted on 15/04/2011 15:27

The crucial point is how does the equation look after you work out the sum in brackets.

Is it 48/2*12 or are the brackets still there as in 48/2(12). In the latter case the next thing is to eliminate the brackets (Bodmas) by multiplying 2 by 12.

Julios_Hairband Posted on 15/04/2011 15:28

stu: The B means you do all operations within the brackets, it doesn't mean you start doing operations external to the brackets. 2(12) should be written as 2*12.

"Is it 48/2*12 or are the brackets still there as in 48/2(12)"

XXXXXX's sake. 2(12)=2*(12)=2*12.

Capybara Posted on 15/04/2011 15:28

Well, I looked at the 12:08 post and have to say that for someone with all those qualifications you still seem unable to count beyond one.

superstu Posted on 15/04/2011 15:29

Julios_Hairband, ask Jiffy nicely and maybe he'll tutor you. Them brackets need to go first of all.

degsyspesh Posted on 15/04/2011 15:40

I have GCSE and A level maths and two engineering degrees - and I've never even f'cking heard of BODMAS or any other such boolacks.

However, this is about as basic arithmetic as you will ever get - there are not two CORRECT ways of interpreting it - only one.

The fact that there is no "x" between the two and the bracket means that the 2 operates on the bracketed equation before 48 is divided by the resulting product. The answer is, was and always will be 2.

superstu Posted on 15/04/2011 15:41

There you are, look at degsyspesh. He knows his stuff.

Capybara Posted on 15/04/2011 15:50

OK, so if we are getting our degrees out, whacking them on the table and measuring them then I have one in Physics with a significant maths content and I blame computers for all this nonsense. In my time you simply wrote down what you meant and it was quite clear what you meant because when you were dividing you had a numerators and denominators which were those things above and below the horizontal line. That’s something computers can’t deal with easily because everything has to be typed in the same line hence all this MOPED nonsense. You simply put down what you meant and that was that. No ambiguity or anything. So ner.

Julios_Hairband Posted on 15/04/2011 15:53

"The fact that there is no "x" between the two and the bracket means that the 2 operates on the bracketed equation before 48 is divided by the resulting product. The answer is, was and always will be 2."

It's not an 'operation' in and of itself, it's just a shorthand way of writing a multiplication, otherwise it's just meaningless.

Way_Out_West Posted on 15/04/2011 16:06

I can't believe this is still going on. It's all according to your interpretation of implied multiplication, no one is actually wrong here.
Apart from Hurworth who is massively factually wrong.

boro74 Posted on 15/04/2011 16:06

"there are not two CORRECT ways of interpreting it - only one.

The fact that there is no "x" between the two and the bracket means that the 2 operates on the bracketed equation before 48 is divided by the resulting product. The answer is, was and always will be 2."

I agree with Degsy. That's the way I saw it at the start. But some people are claiming that you can interpret it the other way. Can they show us any examples of this anywhere else?

Sergio_Pizzorno Posted on 15/04/2011 16:08

Its 288 FFS!!! USE BODMAS!!![:(!][:(!][:(!]

degsyspesh Posted on 15/04/2011 16:10

Out of interest, are those that are saying the answer is 288 say about 30 years old and younger?? I'm wondering if the confusion comes down to how they enter the formula into a calculater rather than just doing the arithmetic themselves?

bear66 Posted on 15/04/2011 16:14

2 . . . . . and 30 yrs and older and counting

Sergio_Pizzorno Posted on 15/04/2011 16:16

You are confused Degsy its 288[^]

boro74 Posted on 15/04/2011 16:17

Doesn't it boil down to the question is 2*12 the same as 2(12)?

Sergio_Pizzorno Posted on 15/04/2011 16:24

I dont care who is right but mnemonic is a really good word[^]

TheSmogMonster Posted on 15/04/2011 16:27

"Out of interest, are those that are saying the answer is 288 say about 30 years old and younger?? I'm wondering if the confusion comes down to how they enter the formula into a calculater rather than just doing the arithmetic themselves?"

It's got nothing to do with it, it's about how you interpret the question.

As I keep saying its a confirmation bias troll to get people arguing because there isn't a standard way of dealing with this.

Basically it's the computers fault, as there's no way you'd write the equation out like that by hand.

Link: An article on the meme.

Capybara Posted on 15/04/2011 16:31

More or less what I said two days ago at 16:43.

degsyspesh Posted on 15/04/2011 16:34

When I was at school / university that was a perfectly normal way of writing an equation - and the answer was always 2, no ambiguity or missinterpretation.

The fact that so many people think you do it another way suggests that something has changed in the way people do maths which I'm guessing is down to putting equations into a calculator rather than just doing them yourself???

Julios_Hairband Posted on 15/04/2011 16:43

"I'm guessing is down to putting equations into a calculator rather than just doing them yourself???"

But calculators are apparently disagreeing on the answer? [B)]

Capt_Tiffy Posted on 15/04/2011 18:54

2. Defo.....

(and I'm 50!)

MKredleaderOne Posted on 15/04/2011 21:46


288 is incorrect/wrong

BoroPhil Posted on 15/04/2011 22:10

it's definitely 2.

Jonicama Posted on 15/04/2011 23:08

Maths degree - 2.1 Imperial College

The answer is 2.

BoroPhil Posted on 15/04/2011 23:08

amazing thread

Link: enjoy

NedKat Posted on 15/04/2011 23:30

288 ... no doubt about it !

sasboro1 Posted on 15/04/2011 23:55

its definately 2. most adults should be able to work out why.

shows how poor our education is. reminds me when a shop assistant couldnt work out 10% and a mortage advisor at an estate agent got confused by repayment and interest only mortgages

100Rod100 Posted on 15/04/2011 23:58

it would appear the camp is divided - even mathematicians are arguing over the 'correct' answer.

i can understand how both answers are derived, but i prefer 288 over 2.

TheSmogMonster Posted on 16/04/2011 00:02

It's amazing that the maths camp is split on this (for the reason's I've laid out) yet we have a couple of people on this thread insisting they are right because they are old.

Awesome stuff, a shining example of how people will believe what they want to believe regardless of new information.

YouAreMyBoro Posted on 16/04/2011 00:36

Had a long (semi) intelligent response. In the end couldn't be arsed. Sas is either on a good fish or is simple (in terms of english like) and the answer to my mind is either 2 or 288 depending on your point of view.

Maths A level D, English A level D, Criminal Law B, Computing B, Economics Fail.

degsyspesh Posted on 16/04/2011 00:53

"it would appear the camp is divided - even mathematicians are arguing over the 'correct' answer. "

Errrr, no. The mathematicians all know that the answer is 2. Those who use crap calculators think the answer is 288

TheSmogMonster Posted on 16/04/2011 01:11

Why don't you explain that to these people on this maths forum?

I've checked a few and they all say the same...

They don't agree with you....

Link: I conclude that this is nothing more than trolling

WillMunny Posted on 16/04/2011 02:45

Although this will surely sound very conceited, I am a fecking maths prodigy (at least I was before I became an alcoholic! [:D][sad][cr][:D]) and the answer to the equation as written is 2. mar10 has summed it up perfectly as follows;


end of."

Oh and by the way, I've never even heard of BODMAS. Is that something they teach thick kids who can't deal naturally with numbers, so they can spend the rest of their lives getting their maths wrong whilst believing they're correct as a result of a somewhat weak acronym?

Forgive my arrogance, I'm rather drunk. But I'm not wrong. [:P]

100Rod100 Posted on 16/04/2011 02:58

the answer in the () is multiplied by the answer outside of the () [:P]

WillMunny Posted on 16/04/2011 03:06


__A__ =

__48__ = 2

It's primary school level arithmetic based on primary school level algebra. A calculator or computer simply isn't necessary and anyone that needs either to work this out simply isn't qualified to enter the equation correctly into such a device.

Also, anyone that has to remember acronyms to be able to attempt calculations simply isn't capable of understanding numbers as they occur in the natural order of the world. Perhaps if the powers that be hadn't introduced decimalisation, people would be educated to understand numbers better. That said, some people who work for me can't even hazard a guess as to what 3% of £50,000 is! [:O][sad][:(!]

100Rod100 Posted on 16/04/2011 03:23


24(12) = 288 [8)]

the way you have written it is completely different to the original way it was written. it has been written ambigously to get this debate going.

redcar_racer Posted on 16/04/2011 05:06

Some good arguements by boffins on here:

And hence, I say 288


SNOWBANDIT Posted on 16/04/2011 05:59

"The fact that there is no "x" between the two and the bracket means that the 2 operates on the bracketed equation before 48 is divided by the resulting product. The answer is, was and always will be 2."


The multiplication in this only arises to remove the brackets - NOT to multiply the whole thing!

100Rod100 Posted on 16/04/2011 06:41

you dont need the 'x' to know that the answer in the bracket is multiplied by the answer of 48/2 [8)]

Jonny_Ingbar Posted on 16/04/2011 08:07

I might not be a mathmatical genius, but my A level maths tells me this is a sh it thread [:D]

The answer is 2 btw, as any 13 year old will probably be able to tell you.

sasboro1 Posted on 16/04/2011 08:50

Forgot to say i've got a maths degree from years ago. work the inside of the brackets first. so definately 2. cant believe this has got over 200 replies and some still saying its not 2

100Rod100 Posted on 16/04/2011 09:00

weird how my brother with his maths degree says its 288 [?]

MKredleaderOne Posted on 16/04/2011 09:18

At the end of the day it's basic maths against machines designed by someone who doesn't understand basic maths.

In this case the machine will be wrong

HolgateCorner Posted on 16/04/2011 09:36

without a doubt the answer is 2, even if you can only add up using a spreadsheet.

The equations only first step is 48/(18+6)= and the rest is history.

Buddy Posted on 28/04/2011 22:25


Link: A mathematician writes

ghostfox Posted on 28/04/2011 22:53

these type of equations are useful for what ?
when in life do you need to know the answer to these questions?

7_The_Informer Posted on 28/04/2011 22:57

Well, this is definitely intended to be an ambiguous statement to confuse people, mainly because people don't know very much about mathematics.

The correct answer is 2, for the reasons copy and pasted by mar10. That really should have been the end of the thread, but there again, I guess people just didn't understand what was written.

For what it's worth, whilst people are listing their qualifications, I have A-levels in maths and further maths, a mathematically based physics degree and a PhD in nuclear physics.

ghostfox Posted on 28/04/2011 22:59

... and an online spell checker [:D]

nice grammer

lufbra_boro Posted on 28/04/2011 23:16

the correct answer isn't 2; the correct answer is 288....the reasons being...

BODMAS is applied....
brackets first
then according to BODMAS - division and multiplication are equal....

therefore the equation becomes a simple division and multiplication working from left to right...ffs

so....48/2 x 12= 288

markiemark666 Posted on 29/04/2011 00:12

So who knows the correct answer then? my answer = 2

Doink Posted on 29/04/2011 00:36

Lufbra_boro - why do you perform the calculation from left to right? that's how we write, not necessarily how we conduct mathematics.

For my tuppance worth I've got A's at A-level maths and further maths, as well as a masters physics degree. Asked this question I would've immediately said it was 2 without giving it further thought. I still think it's 2, but its an interesting debate. As has been stated, it is deliberately ambiguous.

davidchadwick Posted on 29/04/2011 00:39

i've had 2 many beers and probably should have gone home before the hour of 24 and our lass has just divided me by 9 so i dont care what u mathmaticians think and ive got an 11 plus in balsa craft or needlework or something

mlockwood Posted on 29/04/2011 08:37

I think anyone with any type of mathematical background will tell you the answer is 2.

The reason being that 2(9+3) has to be treated as a whole and you cannot separate it without effecting the balance of the equation. The easiest way I can express this is:

Let 2(9+3) = a and the answer is 2

48/a = 2
48 = 2a
48/2 = a
24 = a
Sub back in the value for a
24 = 2(9+3)
24 = 24

If you try this for when the answer is 288

48/a = 288
48 = 288a
48/288 = a
1/6 = a or 0.1667 = a to 4dp
Sub back in value for a
0.1667 = 2(9+3)
0.1667 = 24 ????

Therefore the answer is 2.

I agree the answer is deliberately ambiguous to confuse those without a mathematical mind