If they really asked you to explain "(2 apples) * (5 people)", then... well, they're a bit strange....

There actually is a context in which this

*sort* of computation can make sense. If you think about workers completing a task (like fixing your car, say), the "labor" charge is not computed in terms solely of how many hours the task required, but also in terms of how many workers toiled to complete the task. While "workers" is genderless, the unit for the "labor" charge is usually called "man-hours", where the hyphen here is just a hyphen; it does not represent subtraction.

So if it took one guy three hours to fix your car, you'd been charged for three man-hours of labor. But if it took two guys one hour, plus another hour that they worked with the manager (who is discovering that she really needs to find better help), then the "labor" charge would be (one hour)*(two people) plus (one hour)*(three people), or 2 man-hours + 3 man-hours, for a total of 5 man-hours.

But I have no idea what your book might possibly

mean by "man-apples".

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