Operations: Parenthesis

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Operations: Parenthesis

Information about the video Operations: Parenthesis


Operations: Parentheses Math

In this video, Mr. Squeaks is working on some blueprints for a hot air balloon. His equations include math with parentheses. First, Mr. Squeaks learns about the parentheses math definition, parentheses in math rules, and learns the answer to the question why are parentheses important in math? After learning the parentheses meaning in math, Mr. Squeaks is able to successfully build his hot air balloon using math parentheses, and takes a flight with Imani!

What Does the Parentheses Mean in Math?

What are parentheses used for in math? Parentheses in math are used to tell you to solve inside the parentheses FIRST. This is what the definition of parentheses in math teaches us. It is important to follow the rules of parentheses in math because your solution can be incorrect if you don’t!

The steps to solve problems with numbers in parentheses in math are:

  • Solve inside the parentheses.
  • Rewrite the equation.
  • Repeat until all parentheses are solved.
  • Solve the equation.

Parentheses Math Example

Now you know the parentheses definition in math, we can work through an example! Below is a problem which we will solve by ignoring the parentheses rule, and following the parentheses rule, to show how the solution is affected by parentheses.


For the left side, we will ignore the parentheses. We would first solve 8 subtract 2, which gives us 6. From here, we move down the plus 6, and solve 6 + 6. This gives us a solution of 12.


For the right side, we will solve inside the parentheses. What does parentheses around a number mean in math? Remember, it means we must solve it first! Two plus 6 is inside the parentheses, which is 8. We move this down, and also move our 8 down too. This gives us 8 subtract 8 to find the solution, which is 0.


Now comparing both, we see that the left side solution is INCORRECT because we ignored the parentheses rule. The right side solution is CORRECT because we did follow the rules for parentheses. This is why it is important to ALWAYS solve inside the parentheses first!


Parentheses in Math Summary

Remember, when faced with parentheses, ask yourself ‘What do parentheses mean in math?’ It is important to always solve inside the parentheses FIRST before you solve anything else.

Below you will find parentheses math worksheets to support your learning.