# Order of operations

BODMAS stands for 'brackets', 'of', 'division', 'multiplication', 'addition' and 'subtraction'. The order in which a calculation is carried out is important.

What is $$2 + 3 \times 4$$ ?

If we calculate the $$2 + 3$$ part first, we get:

$(2 + 3) \times 4$

$= 5 \times 4 = 20$

If we calculate the $$3 \times 4$$ part first, we get:

$2 + (3 \times 4)$

$= 2 + 12 = 14$

These are obviously two different answers - but which one is correct?

BODMAS tells us that 'multiplication' comes before 'addition', so the second answer is correct:

$2 + 3 \times 4 = 2 + 12 = 14$