Ok so this is pretty basic:

-8-5(-8+4)

= 12

so you do (-8+4) = -4

then you multiply the brackets, but heres where im confused, why do you 5* -4 =-20 and not -5*-20, because it is a negative 5 before the brackets right?

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- February 6th 2013, 07:31 AMollyruttsBasic order of operation question
Ok so this is pretty basic:

-8-5(-8+4)

= 12

so you do (-8+4) = -4

then you multiply the brackets, but heres where im confused, why do you 5* -4 =-20 and not -5*-20, because it is a negative 5 before the brackets right? - February 6th 2013, 09:01 AMmastersRe: Basic order of operation question
- February 6th 2013, 10:07 AMollyruttsRe: Basic order of operation question
So can you do it two ways i.e.

-5(-4) = 20

= -8 + 20

=12

or

5(-4) = -20

-8 - -20

12

is this ok to do? - February 6th 2013, 10:28 AMHallsofIvyRe: Basic order of operation question
Yes, although the "- -" without parentheses looks strange! Slightly clearer would be -8- (-20)= -8+ 20.