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Feedback Q&A on Arithmetic

by Ron Kurtus

Readers have sent in a total of 19 comments and questions on Algebra issues. They are listed according to date.

You can read them to further your understanding of the subject.

List of next 10 letters




General What is arithmetic? India
Fractions Fraction has multiple instead of addition South Africa
General I have problems in math USA
General Algebra problem with trains India
General Is zero a negative number or positive number? USA
General Quotients that equal 4 to the negative 5 power USA
Numbers Who named our numerals? Utah of USA
Numbers Formula for finding prime numbers USA
Numbers Don't understand how to reduce using prime numbers USA

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First 10 letters

What is arithmetic?

Topic: General


October 15, 2011

What is exactly arithmetic?

Priyam - India



Arithmetic is working with numbers, such as counting, adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. Dividing breaks numbers into fractions and decimals, which are a sub-set of arithmetic.

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Fraction has multiple instead of addition

Topic: Fractions


September 3, 2011

What if a fraction has a multiple in the middle instead of an addition

Lwandisa - South Africa



See Multiplying Fractions to see how to do it.

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I have problems in math

Topic: General


February 1, 2011

ihave broublems in math so how to be good in this ?
please give me good idias please.

jouliet - USA



Take a look at our sections on Arithmetic and Algebra to help you learn the subjects.

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Algebra problem with trains

Topic: General


October 2, 2010

Two trains of 100 m each in length running in opposite directions cross each other in 6 seconds. If the speed of one train is 48km/hr, find the speed of another train.

Rupesh - India



That is a good Algebra problem, not an Arithmetic problem. I think some data is missing.

Sorry we do not have the solution.

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Is zero a negative number or positive number?

Topic: General


June 3, 2010

hello sir, good morning,
my name is irfan i am the student of class 6.
please help me and give me answer.

zero is the negative number or positive? why all the things becomes zero when multiplied with zero?

irfan - USA



For a long time zero was not even considered a number, because it represents nothing. Zero is the turning point between positive and negative numbers, so it is neither positive or negative.

Positive is defined as greater than zero and negative is defined as less than zero.

Multiplying by nothing results in nothing. Thus multiplying by zero results in zero.

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Quotients that equal 4 to the negative 5 power

Topic: General


November 19, 2009

On my homework it says that I have to write THREE different quotients that equal 4 to the negative 5 power. I don't know ho to do it except for writing it one way only!:(

Tiffany - USA



4^-5 (4 to the negative 5 power) = 1/4^5 = 1/4*4*4*4*4 = 1/2^10 = 2^-10

I hope that is what your teacher is looking for.

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Who named our numerals?

Topic: Numbers


February 27, 2009

Who named our numerals such as One (1), Two (2), Three (3), Four(4) - etc?
One can be spelled ONE or WON.
Two can be spelled TWO or TO or TOO.
Four can be spelled FOUR or FOR or FORE.
How far back into antiquity do these names go?

John Wilbur - Utah of USA



English words come from many sources and other languages. Thus, there are a number of words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings. They are called homophones or homonyms.

Besides the number examples, there are words like through and threw; rain, rein and reign.

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Formula for finding prime numbers

Topic: Numbers


November 5, 2008

Regarding the statement that "there is no formula for finding prime numbers": It is not correct. There are at least two formulas. They are a bit unwieldy, I suppose, and thus not particularly useful for most people, but the formulas exist nonetheless.

I can say this quite certainly because my father wrote one of the formulas many years ago!

George - USA



Thanks for your feedback. You are correct. I updated the sentence to read: "there is no simple formula..."

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Don't understand how to reduce using prime numbers

Topic: Numbers


February 2, 2008

I just don't understand how to reduce using prime numbers. What is the best way especially using large numbers and fractions? thank you

Yvette - USA



With a fraction, you are mainly concerned about reducing the denominator into prime factors.

Reducing any number into its prime factors is tedious. Usually, you try dividing the number by the small primes and then work your way up.

For example, supposed you have to find the prime factors of 140. Start trying dividing by 2: 140/2 = 70. Try again by 2: 70/2 = 35. You can see that you can't divide 35 by 2, so try dividing by 3. That doesn't work, so try dividing by the next prime, 5: 35/5 = 7. And 7 is a prime. Thus 140 = 2 X 2 X 5 X 7.

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