Get Riddles By Email! (it's free)

Seemingly Simple Math

What is the answer to this math problem:

8 ÷ 2 (2 + 2)

16 or 1, depending.

According to PEMDAS, parentheses come first: 8 ÷ 2 (4)

Then, even though multiplication is first in PEMDAS, you go left to right: 4 (4) = 16

If you got 1, you’re in good company. That’s what I got at first too but most calculators I’ve tried get 16.

I found this at Popular Mechanics and the debate continues online.

Posted in Brain Teasers

 

2 Comments on "Seemingly Simple Math"


Mark W says
September 1, 2019 @ 22:43

Hi Dan,

Like you, I arrived at the answer: 1.

Simply because to equal 16, I believe the equation would have to be set out as:
(8 ÷ 2) (2 + 2) ?

Love your puzzles, thanks!


Will J says
September 30, 2019 @ 13:58

I don’t know how you come up with 1….I get 16 all day
8÷2(2+2)=
8÷2(4)=
4(4)=
4*4=
16


Leave a comment

Name (required)

Email (will not be published) (required)