How many people are there is the following statement: "Bob with his family of 4..."

Is it:

  • a total of 4 (Bob + 3 members) or
  • a total of 5 (Bob + 4 members) ?

closed as off-topic by José Carlos Santos, Eevee Trainer, Ennar, Alexander Gruber Apr 29 at 1:42

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question is not about mathematics, within the scope defined in the help center." – José Carlos Santos, Eevee Trainer, Ennar, Alexander Gruber
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don't think this problem is related to mathematics. $\endgroup$ – YuiTo Cheng Apr 22 at 7:35
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps you are right. However, it appeared in a math test paper. The math teachers are debating over it. $\endgroup$ – Fong Kah Chun Apr 22 at 7:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ English Language Stack Exchange looks like a more appropriate site. $\endgroup$ – YuiTo Cheng Apr 22 at 7:40

This is more of a question about semantics, the definition of words. As you suspect, it's absolutely necessary to have clarified the definition of "with" before you can be certain of your calculation. In mathematics it's extremely common to ask what words or notation mean. A well-written mathematics statement uses language precisely with no ambiguity about terms. If this was given to you as a mathematics question then you are right to ask the definition of "with".


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