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How to read correctly this statement (associative law)

  1. Nov 14, 2008 #1
    I'm not a native speaker of English and I was reading a Calculus's book and I didn't know the correct way to read a statement about real numbers. This is the statement:

    "a + (b + c) = (a + b) + c"

    Is it "a plus the sum of b and c is equal to the sum of a and b plus c"?
    Or is it just "a plus b plus c is equal to a plus b plus c"?

    I just think the second one inappropriate because it doesn't tell the associative law at all.

    So, can anybody tell me the correct way?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 14, 2008 #2


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    The first one is exactly what it's saying.
  4. Nov 14, 2008 #3
    Thank you! You really helped me.
  5. Nov 14, 2008 #4
    the first implies the second. once you have an associative operation, you always drop such parentheses to save effort.
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