Math question
I am trying to get better at math, the highest math I have is Algebra. For some reason I just can't do math. I have this homework helpers book about basic math and prealgebra to help me understand math.
Its talking about negative integers and distributive property. I was following along just fine until I got to this example it asked me to work out. 25x96 Now I thought I had this, so I went about to do this: (25x90) + (25x6) to get my answer but then I read how the book does it and I am completely lost. This is how the book did it: 25x96 = 25 x (1004) = 25x100 + 25 x (4) = 2,500  100 = 2,400 Where did they get this 1004, I realize it equals 96 but what? Can anyone explain to me why it went by 100? What am I missing here? 
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that just seems ridiculously overcomplicated

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Because the exemple illustrates negative integers and distributive property ?

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yes, precisely. They needed an example for multiplying the opposit of a sum. the way you did was multyplying sums. Nothing wrong with it at all, but not what they wanted to explain.
Actually the 1004 makes sense. You can multiply by 100 by simply adding two 0es or shifting the decimal point (or in Europe the decimal comma) two digits to the right. This is a mechanical step that doesn't require much thinking and goes quickly. Then they substract the rest. Imagine their example as: there are 25 boxes with 100 cupcakes each. Someone steals 4 cupcakes from every box. How many are left? See? Now it makes perfect sense :) (and a belly ache for the thief LOL) 
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They are also demonstrating that numbers can be defined many ways. 96 can be defined as 1004 (that's where they got it from, to answer your question).
Of course, 96 could also be defined as 90+6 or 8(12), etc. 
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...or 4 x 24, which makes obtaining the answer trivial.

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And that meant that 25 x 96 could also be written as 25 x (4 x 24), and you just move the parentheses and it's (25 x 4) x 24 = 100 x 24 = 2400. It's just an easier and more intuitive route to the solution. So that's two different points where it was possible to get to 100, and that made it much easier to solve those parts. We use base10 mathematics because we have ten fingers, so anytime you can rearrange an equation to get a 10 or 100 or the like in there, it makes it easier to solve. 
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^Hey, fix that quote, boy! I'm good at math! :p

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When I signed up I was told there would be no math. I think it's in the FAQ.
My math score was so low on my SATs, I think they had to go negative.;) 
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This is very true. There are lots of "tricks" you can use  like knowing the digits of anything divisible by 3 will, themselves, sum up to something divisible by 3. For example: 1386486 Sum the digits: 36. Sum the digits again: 9. So it's divisible by 3. Similarly anything divisible by 9 can have its digits added up to something divisible by 9. (So 1386486 above is divisible by 9.) You learn them mostly through experience, but also sometimes through being taught them. 
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Book method makes perfect sense. It's stupideasy to figure out what 100 x anything is, so you can get to 2500 instantly. Then, since you only needed 96 of them instead of 100, just take 4 back off, so 100.
Breaking it into 90 and 6 doesn't help... 
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Thank the Indians for the zero and placevalue notation.

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To the OP...Order of Operations.
Also, buy a calculator. 
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