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Why Does OF Mean Multiply?

Date: 12/04/2001 at 08:08:56
From: Lauren Filipovits
Subject: Why does the word "of" mean multiplication?

I wanted to know why the word "of" means multiplication.

Thank you.

Date: 12/04/2001 at 08:50:16
From: Doctor Peterson
Subject: Re: Why does the word "of" mean multiplication?

Hi, Lauren.

Suppose items come 8 to a box.

If I have 2 OF these 8's, I multiply to find the total, 2 x 8 = 16.

If I have 1/2 OF an 8, I multiply: 1/2 x 8 = 4.

The same is true for any fraction. In these contexts, the word "of" 
denotes a selection or repetition "of" some quantity. That's what 
multiplication is.

You might be interested in looking at this basic explanation of 
multiplication of fractions, noticing how I used the word "of":

   Meaning of Multiplying Fractions   

- Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum   
Associated Topics:
Elementary Fractions
Elementary Multiplication
Middle School Fractions

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