# Simple equation stumps adults: The primary school math problem that's breaking the internet

10:57 PM EST, December 18, 2023

Not everyone was a whiz at math in school, but most probably grasped the basics. However, simple equations from primary school textbooks can prove to be a challenge in adulthood. Many of these equations go viral and circulate on the internet, sparking debates about the correct solution. Let's take a look at a prime example.

## One equation with multiple solutions

In theory, the equation **46+4×4-4×2=?** shouldn't pose a problem for anyone who has completed primary school. It only consists of natural numbers, lacks parentheses, and requires that we perform only addition, subtraction, and multiplication. By simply applying the order of operations, we should arrive at the solution.

However, theory and practicality do not always align. It seems that this equation, which most primary school students could handle, is troublesome for many adults. Suffice it to say, the internet has become a repository of disparate solutions, some of which even produce a three-digit result.

## Solving the equation

Before reading further, try to solve the operation yourself. Write down your result. Shortly, we will reveal the correct answer, and you can verify whether your memories of school math lessons are accurate.

Before revealing the solution, it's valuable to understand the calculations involved. As touched upon earlier, the key to solving this task is maintaining the correct order of operations. So, let's remember that we usually perform the calculations enclosed in parentheses first (although this equation doesn't have any), followed by multiplication and division, and finally addition and subtraction.

With this refresher, you should be well-prepared to solve the equation, which results in 54. If there's any uncertainty, let's break it down: we first perform the multiplier operations, yielding **4×4=16 and 4×2=8**. After these operations, our equation appears as: **46+16-8=?**. After carrying out the addition and subtraction, our final result is indeed 54.