Glossary

Operations are associative if the order in which operations take place does not affect the result.

For example, addition of numbers is associative, since the order in which they are added does not change their sum. The corresponding associative law is: (a+b)+c=a+(b+c) for all numbers a,b and c.

Multiplication is also associative, as the product of the numbers does not vary with the order of their multiplication. The corresponding associative law is: (ab)c=a(bc) for all numbers a,b and c.

Subtraction and division are not associative, as the order of operations changes the value of the expression; for example: (7-4)-3≠7-(4-3) and (12÷6)÷2≠12÷(6÷2).