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Which one of the following (1. or 2.) best represents the following: What multiplied by 3/4 equals 12?

1. ? X 3/4 = 12

2. 3/4 X ? = 12

Either one can be used to represent it, but (1) is much more obvious.

Using (1), it is clear that the number is being multiplied by the 3 and
then divided by the 12.

Using (2), even though the number put in is to be multiplied by 3/4,
some might multiply by the 4 first, and then divide that into 3.
They would do the problem as if it were 3/(4 X ?).

It is really (3/4) X ? = 12, but the parenthesis aren't there.

Now on the 1st one, there are also know parenthesis, but they aren't necessary.
If you compute it as (? X 3)/4 or ? X (3/4), the same result is gotten.

Even if the question were, "When 3/4 is multiplied by some number, the answer is 12",
where the 3/4 is the 1st number and the '?' is mentioned after, it is best to write the '?' 1st.

Many times this occurs when the problem is written as a fraction in a book.
When putting this down by typing it in, putting it on one line can put in a question
when it is done the 2nd way.  Because of this, it is recommended to put it in the 1st way or
as (3/4) X ? = 12 so there is no way it can be done as 3/(4 X ?).

By the way, for 1st answer is 16, since when multiplied by 3/4 12 is gotten.
On the 2nd question, however, it could be 1/16.  That is because 4 times 1/16 is 1/4,
and when 3 is divided by 1/4, the result is 12.  

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Scott A Wilson


I have answered every question that was a story problems that had any relation to math for which an answer existed. I have ever answered some questions which had a vague relation to math, but still related.


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