Operations – Definition With Examples
8 minutes read
Created: December 23, 2023
Last updated: January 7, 2024
Welcome to another enlightening post from Brighterly, your leading source for accessible and engaging mathematics for children. We take pride in making complex concepts simple and fun to learn. Today’s topic delves into one of the most fundamental pillars of mathematics – “operations.” Imagine a world without math operations. How would we count our allowance, measure ingredients for baking, or even tell time? Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about that because operations, though often unobserved, play a pivotal role in our daily lives. In this comprehensive guide, we will journey through the definition, properties, differences, and application of operations in equations. Prepare to unravel the magic of operations that underpins the beauty of mathematics!
What Are Operations?
When we delve into the fascinating world of mathematics, we often encounter various elements that are foundational to the discipline. One such key element is “operations.” Math operations involve manipulating numbers or variables according to certain rules, a process we apply almost every day without even realizing it. From counting our allowances, to measuring the ingredients for our favorite recipe, to keeping time, these are all examples of mathematical operations at work in our lives. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what operations really are, the properties they possess, and how they’re applied in equations.
Definition of Operations
At the most fundamental level, an operation in mathematics is a procedure or function that produces a new value from one or more input values, called “operands”. There are four basic operations that we are most familiar with: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Yet, mathematics extends far beyond these elementary operations. There are other more complex operations such as exponentiation, logarithms, trigonometric functions, etc., which we will also explore in this article.
Definition of Basic Operations
Let’s begin with the four basic operations in mathematics. These operations serve as the foundation for all other operations in math. They are:

Addition (+): This operation combines two numbers to form a larger number. If we have 3 apples and we add 2 more, we have 5 apples in total.

Subtraction (): This operation takes one number away from another. If you start with 7 candies and eat 2, you are left with 5 candies.

Multiplication (x): This operation is a fast way of adding the same number many times. If you have 3 bags, each with 4 marbles, you have 12 marbles in total.

Division (÷): This operation splits a number into equal parts. If you have 8 pieces of candy and want to share them equally with a friend, each of you gets 4 candies.
Properties of Operations
Operations in mathematics have certain properties that make them behave in predictable ways. Understanding these properties can help us simplify complicated math problems and understand how numbers work in general. For example, the Commutative property states that the order in which you perform operations like addition and multiplication doesn’t change the result. So, for instance, 2+3 is the same as 3+2, and 2×3 is the same as 3×2. Other important properties include the Associative property, Distributive property, and the Identity property.
Properties of Basic Operations
In the realm of basic operations, these properties manifest in several ways. For instance, the Associative Property applies to both addition and multiplication. It states that the way in which numbers are grouped does not change the outcome of the addition or multiplication. Similarly, the Distributive Property explains how multiplication interacts with addition or subtraction. For example, 4 x (3+2) equals 4×3 + 4×2.
Difference Between Different Operations
Every operation in mathematics has a distinct function, even though they might seem similar at times. The difference lies in how they manipulate numbers. Addition increases the quantity, subtraction decreases it, multiplication repeats addition, and division splits into equal parts. More complex operations like exponentiation and logarithms behave differently and serve unique purposes in mathematics.
Equations Involving Operations
An equation is a mathematical statement where two expressions are set equal to each other. Equations involving operations could have one or more operations. They form the basis for problemsolving in math. For instance, the equation 3x – 2 = 4 involves both multiplication and subtraction.
Writing Equations Involving Basic Operations
Writing equations involving basic operations is a fundamental skill in algebra. It’s how we translate word problems into mathematical language. For instance, if a book costs $7 and you want to buy 3, you can represent this as the equation 3×7 = y, where y is the total cost.
Advanced Operations and Their Equations
As we delve deeper into mathematics, we encounter advanced operations like exponentiation, roots, and logarithms. These operations have their own unique characteristics and equations. For example, an equation involving exponentiation could be 2^3 = 8, demonstrating that 2 is being multiplied by itself three times.
Practice Problems on Operations
To fully understand and appreciate operations, practice is key. Here are some practice problems you can try:
 If you have 5 apples and your friend gives you 3 more, how many apples do you have?
 You have 10 candies and you eat 2. How many candies are left?
 If you have 3 boxes of chocolates, each with 4 chocolates, how many chocolates do you have in total?
 You have 8 pieces of candy and want to share them equally with two friends. How many candies does each person get?
Conclusion
And there you have it! A comprehensive guide on operations in mathematics courtesy of Brighterly. We have traversed from the basic operations that form the cornerstone of math, delved into their properties, compared them, and discovered how they’re intricately woven into equations. Whether it’s addition or subtraction, multiplication or division, or even more advanced operations, each has a crucial role to play in making sense of the world around us. But remember, practice is key. Engage with the practice problems and unlock your full potential. With every new concept, you’re becoming a more confident and competent math student. Remember, at Brighterly, we make math brighter and merrier!
Frequently Asked Questions on Operations
Why are operations important in math?
Operations are the building blocks of mathematics. They form the basis of every mathematical expression and equation. Without operations, we wouldn’t be able to perform even the most basic calculations or solve problems. Operations give structure to mathematics and allow us to manipulate and compare numbers in meaningful ways.
What is the order of operations?
The order of operations is a set of rules that tells us the sequence in which we should perform different mathematical operations in an expression. It’s often remembered by the acronym PEMDAS, which stands for Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication and Division (from left to right), Addition and Subtraction (from left to right).
Are there more operations beyond the basic four?
Absolutely! Beyond the basic four operations, there are many more complex ones. These include exponentiation (raising a number to a power), roots (finding a number that, when multiplied by itself a certain number of times, gives a specified number), and logarithms (finding the power to which a number must be raised to get another number). As you dive deeper into mathematics, you’ll encounter these and more!
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