What is a Parenthesis?Date: 07/17/2000 at 20:34:33 From: Shatara Nivens Subject: Parenthesis I was wondering if you could help me figure out what the mathematical term "parenthesis" means. Thanks. Date: 07/17/2000 at 20:48:48 From: Doctor Peterson Subject: Re: Parenthesis Hi, Shatara. This is a left parenthesis: ( This is a right parenthesis: ) The plural is "parentheses": () Mathematically, they are used to mark an expression that is to be treated as a single number in a larger expression; for example, to evaluate the expression: 2 * (3 + 4) you first evaluate (find the value of) the expression 3 * 4, then replace the "parenthetical expression" with its value: 2 * 7 = 14 To learn more about how they are used, see our Order of Operations FAQ: http://mathforum.org/dr.math/faq/faq.order.operations.html If you're interested, the word "parenthesis" comes from a Greek word that means "insertion"; the word is used in grammar for both of the symbols themselves, and for an entire phrase that has been inserted into a sentence (like the parenthesis at the end of this sentence). But in math, we use it only to refer to the symbols themselves, as far as I know. - Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ |
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