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Math Help - terminology question

  1. #1
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    terminology question

    In mathematics, when something is a factor 4 better/worse, does it mean that compared with something else, it is 4 times larger in value.

    Will
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    Quote Originally Posted by willadaptive View Post
    In mathematics, when something is a factor 4 better/worse, does it mean that compared with something else, it is 4 times larger in value.

    Will
    you mean if a=4b this equivalent to a=b+b+b+b then a is 4times larger than b if b equal 1 then a equal 4
    since you need four amount of b to put the equality I wish it is clear

    if

    a=\frac{b}{4} here b is 4 times larger than a since the quarter of b equal a it is clear I think
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    Quote Originally Posted by willadaptive View Post
    In mathematics, when something is a factor 4 better/worse, does it mean that compared with something else, it is 4 times larger in value.

    Will
    If I understand your question correctly, the answer is basically yes, you are correct. Suppose for instance that Laundry Detergent A is 4 times more effective at removing stains that Laundry Detergent B. That means that if Detergent B removes 20% of all stains, then Detergent A removes 80% of stains.

    Hope that's clear.
    Last edited by AlephZero; July 10th 2009 at 12:29 PM. Reason: typo
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlephZero View Post
    If I understand your question correctly, the answer is basically yes, you are correct. Suppose for instance that Laundry Detergent A is 4 times more effective at removing stains that Laundry Detergent B. That means that if Detergent B removes 20% of all stains, then Detergent A removes 80% of stains.

    Hope that's clear.
    Is it though?
    Purely on a semantical point - and I'm not disagreeing with your answer, but if, say, a box of cornflakes contains 1kg of cornflakes, then a box that contains 4 times as many would contain 4kg, right? But would a box that contains 4 times more contain 5kg?
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  5. #5
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    That is what I would say. "Four times as much" is 4x. "Four times more" is x+ 4x= 5x.

    Of course, I have no idea which of those "factor 4 better/worse" is supposed to mean!

    (Oh, and "4 more or less" is x\pm 4.)
    Last edited by HallsofIvy; July 13th 2009 at 04:48 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unenlightened View Post
    Is it though?
    Purely on a semantical point - and I'm not disagreeing with your answer, but if, say, a box of cornflakes contains 1kg of cornflakes, then a box that contains 4 times as many would contain 4kg, right? But would a box that contains 4 times more contain 5kg?
    You're quite right; I should have chosen my words better.

    No wonder I am constantly fleeced at the grocery store!
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