# Can you use PEMDAS instead of the distributive law so it's faster to solve?

For example,

4(8-2)

Can you just do 4 * 6 instead of

4 * 8 - 4 * 2?

The answers are the same, but will it work even if some of the numbers are negative, or fractions, etc?

### 13 Answers

- ted sLv 72 months agoFavorite Answer
with number symbols yes....but what about 2 ( x - y² + z ) = ????....where x , y , and z are numbers

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- D gLv 72 months ago
that is how you do it anyway only a moron would expand it first by multiplying through

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- 2 months ago
oh yeah, it will work for all of those things. Either way works! It's really just preference with problems like that. I would simplify that 8-2 first, for example.

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- JimLv 72 months ago
You do according to PEMDAS for like items

or use distributive for unlike items.

BOTH give the same answers otherwise it would break the law!

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- KrishnamurthyLv 72 months ago
4(8 - 2)

You can just do 4 * 6 instead of

4 * 8 - 4 * 2

The answers are the same, but it will work even

if some of the numbers are negative, or fractions, etc.

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- davidLv 72 months ago
given numbers at every place in the math problem, PEMDAS is actually preferred. When a problem has variables then algebraic properties like the distributive prop. has to be used.

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- PopeLv 72 months ago
Yes, of course it is the same. That is precisely what the distributive law states.

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