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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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Lesson Transcript

Instructor:
*Mark Boster*

Have you ever tried to put your socks on after putting on your shoes? It doesn't work does it? In math, there is also a certain order in which equations have to be solved to get the correct answer. In this lesson, you will learn this important order of operations.

Matter, really, does, what in order go you it? Wait, none of that made any sense! Let's put that sentence in order! 'Does it really matter what order you go in?' Clearly, of course it does! Try to eat a banana before you peel it or a watermelon before you cut it. Well, order really does matter when adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing fractions.

Just like we put our socks on before our shoes, when solving equations, even ones that contain fractions, order matters. Look at Equation 1 below. You can see it does matter in what order you solve the equation.

When it was solved the first time, the multiplication was done before the addition. The second time it was solved, addition was done before multiplication! So what order should you go in?

Just like when you are solving equations with whole numbers, solving equations with fractions has the same order of operations. The **order of operations** is the order in which you solve the problem. If numbers are in parentheses, you do them first. Second, you solve for any numbers with exponents. Then, you go from left to right and do the multiplication and division. Finally, you go back and do the addition and subtraction - again, from left to right.

Sounds like a lot, right? Well, there is a very popular mnemonic device to help you remember the order of operations: **PEMDAS** (Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally) helps us remember:

P - Parentheses

E - Exponents

M & D - Multiplication and Division (left to right)

A & S - Addition and Subtraction (left to right)

How about trying

There is both addition and multiplication in this equation, so what's the first step? Remember your PEMDAS.

There are no parentheses or exponents, so multiplication comes first. As we can see:

So now you have the first part done.

So now you can go ahead and continue with the addition part of the equation. As we can see:

And that's our answer!

Let's try another one with:

A little different this time. What do you do first? It's always whatever's inside the parentheses.

So, therefore:

Now, outside the parentheses:

Not too difficult. Sometimes the equations look tricky, but after you know the order of operations, they aren't that bad at all.

Check out the Order of Operations with Fractions diagram:

It's important that you remember this order. Maybe looking at the bottom where is tells you in symbols what to do will help you remember it. If all else fails, you always have PEMDAS and your 'Dear Aunt Sally!'

Let's take a couple of moments to review what we've learned about the order of operations we use when working with fractions. The **order of operations** for mathematical equations, including fractions, is the set of rules which determine the order in which you solve the problem. **PEMDAS** (Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally) is a popular mnemonic device used to help you remember the correct order. It stands for:

- P = Parentheses
- E = Exponents
- M & D =Multiplication and Division (left to right)
- A & S = Addition and Subtraction (left to right)

Using PEMDAS, you should always remember how to solve a fraction question when facing one on a test.

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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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