Simple math equation has the Internet confused

Do you too have a love-hate relationship with math? Mostly hate, perhaps.

Well, this relatively ‘simple’ equation stumped the Internet. What do you think is the right answer?

Addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication maybe aren’t your best friends, but can you solve this? The confusing math problem is 15-1(12 ÷ 4 + 1). It has all the operators in it, but still, appears to be hard to solve. People are guessing numbers like 11, 18, and 56.

The core of the solution to this problem lies in the two types of operations’ order. PEMDAS (Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction) and BODMAS (Brackets, Orders, Division, Multiplication, Addition, Subtraction). The answers may vary, based on the method you were taught when you were little.

In this particular math problem, no matter which type of order you use, the answer is 11. Here’s why.

Logically, you are supposed to start with what’s in the brackets. There you have 12 ÷ 4 + 1. The priority operation here is division, then comes the addition. So, you first divide 12 ÷ 4, which equals 3. Then you add 1, and you have 3 + 1, which is 4.

As a result, you have the simplified equation 15-1×4. What you need to do next, is to continue with the multiplication and after that the subtraction. Here you have 1 x 4 = 4. Therefore, you end up with 15 – 4, which equals 11.

This massive Internet confusion is similar to the one where people were fighting over the answer, and it turned out it has not one but two right solutions. The upsetting equation is 8 ÷ 2(2 + 2).

But how an equation can have two different answers? Well, again it’s about the two types of order. According to PEMDAS, multiplication comes before division, so the answer should be 1. However, if you use BODMAS, where division is before multiplication, the answer is 16. Some assume that this math problem was initially designed to stir confusion.

Admit it, these stumping equations are just another point in the list of many many reasons why we can’t get along with math.

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