Chapter 5

# A Question of Values: Evaluating Arithmetic Expressions

In This Chapter

Understanding the Three E's of math — equations, expressions, and evaluation

Using order of precedence to evaluate expressions containing the Big Four operations

Working with expressions that contain exponents

Evaluating expressions with parentheses

In this chapter, I introduce you to what I call the Three E's of math: equations, expressions, and evaluation. You'll likely find the Three E's of math familiar because, whether you realize it or not, you've been using them for a long time. Whenever you add up the cost of several items at the store, balance your checkbook, or figure out the area of your room, you're evaluating expressions and setting up equations. In this section, I shed light on this stuff and give you a new way to look at it.

You probably already know that an equation is a mathematical statement that has an equals sign (=) — for example, 1 + 1 = 2. An expression is a string of mathematical symbols that can be placed on one side of an equation — for example, 1 + 1. And evaluation is finding ...

Get Basic Math and Pre-Algebra For Dummies, 2nd Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.