Commutative Property of Addition – Definition with Examples
Updated on January 4, 2024
Unveiling the mysteries of mathematics can often feel like embarking on a grand adventure, filled with new concepts and exciting discoveries. At Brighterly, we believe in making this journey as enjoyable and enriching as possible. One of the key stepping stones on this path of mathematical exploration is the Commutative Property of Addition. This fundamental principle is more than just a mathematical rule; it’s a beacon that illuminates the interconnectedness and harmony inherent in numbers and operations.
The Commutative Property of Addition is akin to a magical switch that allows numbers to dance and swap places without altering the final result of the sum. It’s a testament to the inherent flexibility and elegance of mathematics. By understanding this principle, children can unlock a new perspective on number manipulation, instilling in them a sense of confidence and curiosity that will motivate them to delve deeper into the captivating world of numbers. So let’s embark on this enlightening journey together, exploring and unraveling the Commutative Property of Addition with Brighterly.
What is the Commutative Property of Addition?
The Commutative Property of Addition is a fundamental concept in arithmetic and algebra, and it’s a building block that helps us understand more complex mathematical ideas. But what exactly is it? The term “commutative” comes from the Latin word “commutare,” which means to move around or change places. In mathematics, this property states that changing the order of the numbers being added does not affect the sum.
In simpler terms, if you’re adding two or more numbers together, you can rearrange those numbers in any order, and you’ll still get the same total. This might seem obvious, but it’s an essential principle that underpins much of the math we do every day. It allows us to perform calculations more flexibly and efficiently. For example, when adding multiple numbers, we might choose to group numbers in a way that makes the math easier, a strategy made possible by the commutative property.
Commutative Property of Addition Formula
So, what does the Commutative Property of Addition Formula look like? It’s pretty straightforward. If you have two numbers, let’s say a and b, the formula simply states that a + b = b + a. This might look overly simple, but it’s incredibly powerful.
For example, if you have 3 apples and you add 2 more, you have the same number of apples as if you first took 2 apples and then added 3. The result is the same: you have 5 apples. This formula is an excellent illustration of how the order in which numbers are added does not impact the final result.
Application of Commutative Property of Addition
The Commutative Property of Addition is more than just an abstract mathematical concept—it has practical applications in everyday life. For example, when shopping, it doesn’t matter if you add the price of the apples to the price of the bananas or vice versa; the total cost will be the same.
Furthermore, this property can also be applied in solving complex mathematical problems, particularly in algebra. It allows us to rearrange terms in an algebraic expression or equation to simplify calculations or to more easily identify like terms. For example, in the equation 2x + y = z, we could also write it as y + 2x = z without changing its meaning or solution.
Examples of Commutative Property of Addition
To further illustrate the Commutative Property of Addition, let’s look at some examples.

If we have the numbers 4 and 7, we can write this as 4 + 7 = 11. But we can also write it as 7 + 4 = 11. Both equations give us the same result, proving the commutative property.

In a reallife scenario, imagine you have 5 candies, and your friend gives you 2 more. You now have 5 + 2 = 7 candies. If your friend had first given you 2 candies and then you found 5 more, you would have 2 + 5 = 7 candies. The order of addition does not change the total number of candies you have.
Practice Questions on Commutative Property of Addition
Now that we understand the Commutative Property of Addition, let’s put our knowledge to the test with some practice questions.
 Show that 13 + 22 = 22 + 13.
 Prove the commutative property using the numbers 8 and 15.
 Give a reallife example where the commutative property is used.
Remember, the key to mastering any mathematical concept is practice!
Conclusion
The Commutative Property of Addition is not just a simple mathematical principle—it’s an invaluable tool, a compass guiding us through the vast landscape of numbers and operations. At Brighterly, we understand the power that such foundational concepts hold in shaping a child’s mathematical journey. We believe that by mastering the commutative property, students can develop a more flexible approach to problemsolving, fostering a mindset that views challenges as opportunities for creativity and innovation.
By understanding and applying the Commutative Property of Addition, children can more readily grasp more intricate mathematical concepts, laying a robust foundation for their future learning. It’s like learning the rules of a game, enabling them to play more effectively and creatively. And in the grand game of mathematics, Brighterly is here to ensure that every child is equipped with the right tools and knowledge, transforming their learning experience into a joyful adventure filled with new discoveries and achievements.
Frequently Asked Questions on Commutative Property of Addition
Does the Commutative Property of Addition apply to subtraction?
No, the commutative property does not apply to subtraction. This is because the order in which numbers are subtracted significantly influences the result. For instance, if we consider the numbers 5 and 3, 5 – 3 equals 2, whereas 3 – 5 equals 2. As you can see, the results are not the same, indicating that subtraction is not commutative.
Does the Commutative Property of Addition apply to multiplication?
Yes, the commutative property also applies to multiplication. This means that the order in which numbers are multiplied does not change the product. For example, if we take the numbers 4 and 2, 4 * 2 equals 8, and 2 * 4 also equals 8. This demonstrates that, like addition, multiplication is a commutative operation.
Is the Commutative Property of Addition only applicable to two numbers?
No, the commutative property extends to any number of numbers. This principle means you can rearrange multiple numbers in any order when adding, and the sum will remain the same. For instance, with the numbers 2, 5, and 3, 2 + 5 + 3 equals 10, as do 3 + 2 + 5 and 5 + 3 + 2.
Information Sources
 Commutative Property of Addition from Wikipedia – Wikipedia provides a comprehensive overview of the commutative property in mathematics.
 Addition Facts from National Council of Teachers of Mathematics – A lesson plan focused on understanding and applying the properties of addition.
 Commutative Law of Addition from Wolfram MathWorld – Provides a more technical, indepth exploration of the commutative property.