## Brackets in arithmetic is an important part of the NUMERACY SKILLS FOR BUSINESS course and accounting trainees and bookkeepers must know how to deal with brackets.

Sometimes several operations are combined, the order in which they are performed is crucial. For example, 13 + 11 x 4 might be interpreted in two different ways:

(1) add 13 to 11 and then multiply the result by 4

or

(2) multiply 11 by 4 and then add the result to 13

You will get two different answers – so which one is correct?

The rule is multiplication should always be done before addition, therefore 57 is actually the correct answer.

A better way of writing 13 + 11 x 4 is thus 13 + (11 x 4). This makes it clear which operation should be done first – the calculation in the bracket should be performed first.

Complete the following calculations.:

**Question 1**

(15 x 4) + 18

**Question 2**

(18 / 3) – 1

**Question 3**

(13 x 4) /2

**Question 4**

17 – (4 x (2 + 1))

**Question 4**

((18 + 3) / 3) –2

**Question 5**

18 x (5 + 12)

Remember Brackets (or parentheses as the Americans call them ) first!

Then division and multiplication (work left to right).

Then addition and subtraction (work left to right.