I don't understand how to do this problem

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## 1 Answer

You need to look at the innermost brackets first and work out the result of the operation in brackets.

So we have: (7-19)=-12; {-5-(-1)}={-5+1}=-4. That takes of the innermost brackets.

Next we look at operator priority. That is, multiplication and division take priority over addition and subtraction. I see 16/2=8.

This is what we have so far: 3[2(-12)+4-8{-4}]. It looks like -8{-4} is +32 or plain 32, because -8{-4} means -8×{-4}=32, since minus times minus is plus and minus divided by minus is plus.  2(-12) means 2×(-12)=-24.

Now we have everything within the square brackets: 3[-24+4+32]=3[-20+32]=3[32-20]=3×12=36.

So the answer is 36.

However I feel there is an ambiguity: -16/2{-4} could also mean -16 divided by 2×(-4)=-8 so -16/-8=2.

The calculation would then be 3[-24+4+2]=3×(-18)=-54.

by Top Rated User (640k points)

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