# Order of computation [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate:
What is 48÷2(9+3)?

In the field of real numbers, does the expression 10 / 2 * 5 make sense? Is it 25 or 1? Is it a bad question or the order of computation from left-to-right is implicit (axiomatic) when omitting parentheses?

• See here for discussion of the order of operations. – Zev Chonoles Mar 21 '12 at 21:26
• en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_operations – user2468 Mar 22 '12 at 1:54
• With the resources you have today, always do web search first then post here. – Kirthi Raman Mar 22 '12 at 20:48

The most widespread convention is that operations of equal precedence are performed from left to right in the absence of parentheses; by this convention $10/2\cdot 5=25$. However, it is violated often enough, intentionally or otherwise, that in such cases one should always supply enough parentheses or other cues to make the intended sense clear: $(10/2)\cdot 5$, $(10/2)(5)$, $\frac{10}2\cdot5$, $\frac12(10)(5)$, etc. However, this left-to-right convention is normally superseded by precedence conventions, so that $2+3\cdot5=17$, not $30$.