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# Basic Math/Ten Times Less & More

Saul S. wrote at 2010-05-15 21:24:14
CindyM's "big caution" points out a common error, made even by otherwise thoughtful science writers.  Techinically, the correct answer to "what number is ten times less than, say, 40?" runs as follows.  One times 40 equals 40.  Therefore, the number that is one times less than 40 is zero.  Two times less than 40 is minus 40.  Etc.  Clearly not what the writer meant to say.  This is sloppy writing, or, more accurately, sloppy thinking.

One often sees the same error with "10 times slower" and other phrases.  The writer should be saying one tenth as large, fast, or whatever.

Ross wrote at 2012-11-13 10:52:17
x times less than something will always be a negative,

For example if the starting number is 40 then 10 times less must be -360.

10 times 40 is 400, so subtract 400 from 40 equals -360

Basic Math

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#### Cindy M

##### Expertise

I can help with math through algebra and geometry -- not trig and not calculus. I can help with fractions, percents, decimals, using other bases, word problems, etc.

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I majored in math in high school and have scored very high on standardized tests.

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