Commutative Property – Definition, Examples, FAQs
Updated on January 10, 2024
Welcome to Brighterly, the ultimate destination for children to discover the fascinating world of math! At Brighterly, we believe that learning math can be both enjoyable and educational. Our mission is to make math concepts accessible and engaging for children of all ages.
Today, we’ll unravel the mystery behind the Commutative Property – a fundamental concept that lies at the heart of arithmetic operations. This simple yet powerful rule has the potential to transform the way your child approaches math problems, making the learning process more exciting and rewarding. Are you ready to embark on this mathematical adventure? Let’s get started!
What is Commutative Property?
The Commutative Property is a basic principle in mathematics that states that the order of numbers doesn’t matter when you’re performing certain arithmetic operations. In other words, you’ll get the same result regardless of the order in which you arrange the numbers. This property applies to two primary operations: addition and multiplication. The Commutative Property does not apply to subtraction and division, as the order of the numbers does matter in these cases.
By understanding the Commutative Property, children can develop their mental math skills and improve their ability to solve problems more efficiently. This property is crucial for building a strong foundation in arithmetic and algebra.
Commutative Property of Addition:
The Commutative Property of Addition states that changing the order of numbers in an addition equation does not affect the sum. In other words, if you’re adding two numbers, it doesn’t matter which one you put first – the result will be the same. Mathematically, this can be expressed as:
a + b = b + a
For example:
 3 + 5 = 5 + 3
 8 + 2 = 2 + 8
This property can be extended to more than two numbers as well:
 3 + 5 + 7 = 5 + 3 + 7 = 7 + 5 + 3
Commutative Property of Multiplication:
The Commutative Property of Multiplication works similarly to the property of addition. It states that changing the order of numbers in a multiplication equation does not affect the product. Mathematically, this can be expressed as:
a × b = b × a
For example:
 4 × 6 = 6 × 4
 9 × 3 = 3 × 9
This property also extends to more than two numbers:
 4 × 6 × 2 = 6 × 4 × 2 = 2 × 6 × 4
Commutative Property vs Associative Property
While the Commutative Property focuses on the order of numbers, the Associative Property deals with the grouping of numbers. The Associative Property states that changing the grouping of numbers does not affect the result, as long as the operation remains the same. It is important to note that both the Commutative and Associative Properties apply to addition and multiplication, but not to subtraction and division.
For example, the Associative Property of Addition can be expressed as:
(a + b) + c = a + (b + c)
And the Associative Property of Multiplication can be expressed as:
(a × b) × c = a × (b × c)
Solved Examples on Commutative Property
Let’s look at some examples that demonstrate the Commutative Property in action:
 Addition: 5 + 9 = 9 + 5 In this case, 5 + 9 = 14, and 9 + 5 = 14. Both sums are equal, so the Commutative Property of Addition holds true.
 Multiplication: 7 × 4 = 4 × 7 In this case, 7 × 4 = 28, and 4 × 7 = 28. Both products are equal, so the Commutative Property of Multiplication holds true.
Practice Problems On Commutative Property
Now that you understand the Commutative Property, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test! Try solving these practice problems:

Addition: a) 6 + 11 = ? + 6 b) 15 + 7 = ? + 15

Multiplication: a) 8 × 5 = ? × 8 b) 3 × 10 = ? × 3
Feel free to use the Commutative Property to help you solve these problems!
Conclusion
In conclusion, the Commutative Property is a pivotal concept in mathematics that plays a significant role in simplifying addition and multiplication problems. By mastering this property, children can unlock their full potential in mental math and enhance their problemsolving abilities.
At Brighterly, we’re committed to nurturing your child’s mathematical prowess and cultivating a lifelong love for learning. Always remember, the Commutative Property is your trusty ally when it comes to addition and multiplication, but not subtraction and division. Keep exploring the amazing world of math with Brighterly, and watch your child’s confidence and skills soar to new heights!
Frequently Asked Questions On Commutative Property
Does the Commutative Property apply to subtraction?
No, the Commutative Property does not apply to subtraction. The order of numbers in a subtraction problem does matter. For example, 7 – 5 ≠ 5 – 7.
Does the Commutative Property apply to division?
No, the Commutative Property does not apply to division. The order of numbers in a division problem does matter. For example, 12 ÷ 4 ≠ 4 ÷ 12.
How does the Commutative Property help in solving problems?
The Commutative Property helps by allowing you to rearrange numbers when adding or multiplying, making calculations easier and more efficient. This can be especially helpful in mental math and when solving more complex problems.
Are there any other properties related to the Commutative Property?
Yes, the Associative Property is another important property related to the Commutative Property. While the Commutative Property deals with the order of numbers, the Associative Property deals with the grouping of numbers.
Information Sources
To learn more about the Commutative Property and other math concepts, check out these reputable sources:
 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) – Commutative Property
 OpenStax – Commutative Property
 BBC Bitesize – Commutative Property
Happy learning, and have fun exploring the world of math with Brighterly!