# A simple but ambiguous expression [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates:
Implicit multiplication order of operation
What is 48÷2(9+3)?

i am so confused after knowing different answer of this ques
48/2(9+3)
though google cal comes up with ans 288 but i have seen its answer 2 on some websites
please clear this confusion

• A/BC can mean either (A/B)*C or A/(BC). Without explicit bracketing or without conventions establishing operator precedence it is ambiguous. – Bill Dubuque Apr 30 '11 at 20:20
• Why would different people want to know the answer to this banal expression? – Uticensis Apr 30 '11 at 20:23
• @flutty: The problem here is not with the math, but with the notation. Many people seem to think that this question does not have a clear answer because the mathematics hasn't been figured out. Really, the problem is that it isn't clear what is being asked, and the question could be interpreted as one of several different math problems. It's like saying "I have a red house and I have a blue house. What color is my house?"--the problem is that it's unclear which house is being talked about, not that people haven't figured out how to determine the color of a house. – Alex Becker Apr 30 '11 at 20:24
• @Theo: This didn't actually start on Facebook, that's just one of the ways it's spread. It's an example of a meme, a quirky expression which spreads like wildfire on the internet. Information on it's origin can be found at knowyourmeme.com/memes/48293. – Alex Becker Apr 30 '11 at 20:30
• There must be a way to use this confusion in order to get huge discounts in shops..." What does this cost? 48$\$ $for 2 pieces? Give me 9! No wait, I want 3 more!" --- "That will be 2$, sir, have a nice day." – Myself Apr 30 '11 at 20:35

By standard convention, 48/2(9+3) is 288. Anyone who wants to be well understood should write either $\frac{48}{2} (9+3)$ or (48/2)(9+3).