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I'm wondering what notation of the following two is preferred:

A) $\frac{1}{3}+0.7 \approx 0.3 + 0.7 = 1.0$

B) $\frac{1}{3}+0.7 \approx 0.3 + 0.7 \approx 1.0$

I guess it depends on if you interpret it as:

$\frac{1}{3}+0.7 $ which is approximately $0.3 + 0.7$ which is exactly equal to $1.0$

or

$\frac{1}{3}+0.7 $ which is approximately $0.3 + 0.7$ which is approximately equal to $1.0$ because of the previous approximation. I would argue for the first.

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2 Answers 2

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Since the scope of relations such as equalities and approximations is only the left and the right hand sides, I believe A) is preferred.

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  • $\begingroup$ I agree. That's what we were always taught too $\endgroup$
    – Shailesh
    Oct 5, 2015 at 12:02
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Consider this (valid) expression:

$$\frac{1}{3} + 0.7 \geq 0.3 + 0.7 = 1.0$$

However you would only see

$$\frac{1}{3} + 0.7 \geq 0.3 + 0.7 \geq 1.0$$

In rare cases. So in general you should use the more exact comparison. Here A)

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