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Tom orders a dinner that comes with 2 side dishes. If there are 5 entrees and 6 side dishes available as options, how many different dinner combinations are possible?

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Is Tom allowed to order 2 servings of the same side dish? – Gerry Myerson Mar 1 '13 at 12:03

HINT: This is a basic application of the multiplication (or Chinese menu) principle.

  • How many ways are there for Tom to choose an entrée?
  • How many ways are there for Tom to choose a pair of side dishes? Note that you’re just counting $2$-element subsets of the set of $6$ possible side dishes.
  • How must you combine these two partial results to get the final answer?
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