the question is as follows:
For all numbers x and y, let the operation ■ be defined by x ■ y = xy-y. If a and b are positive integers, which of the following can be equal to zero?
I. a■b
II. (a+b)■b
III. a■(a+b)
does one distribute choices II and III to a■b + b■b and a■a + a■b respectively? How does that help?
There is just something about the use of symbols that has not registered yet. Thanks.
Let's see. By definition, (x + y) ■ z = (x + y)z - z = xz + yz - z, while x ■ z + y ■ z = xz - z + yz - z = xz + yz - 2z. So, ■ does not distribute over + on positive integers.
A binary operator is just a function of two arguments. Expand ■ according to its definition in each expression so that you only have plus and times left.