Multiplication

KWF

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2010
Messages
193
2 * 1/4 is or equals 1/2 or 2 times 1/4 equals 1/2.

Are the following correct to re-word or to express the same calculation?

1. 1/2 is two times larger than 1/4
2. 1/2 is two times the size of 1/4
3. 1/2 is twice the size of 1/4

I think that the following are incorrect or less accurate to express 2 * 1/4 equals 1/2. Would you agree?

4. 1/4 is two times smaller than 1/2
5. 1/4 is less than two times the size of 1/2
 

lookagain

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
2,375
2 * 1/4 is or equals 1/2 or 2 times 1/4 equals 1/2.

Are the following correct to re-word or to express the same calculation?

1. 1/2 is two times larger than 1/4
2. 1/2 is two times the size of 1/4
3. 1/2 is twice the size of 1/4

I think that the following are incorrect or less accurate to express 2 * 1/4 equals 1/2. Would you agree?

4. 1/4 is two times smaller than 1/2
5. 1/4 is less than two times the size of 1/2
Don't try to use the wording in either 1 or 4. See this related material:

https://www.freemathhelp.com/forum/threads/110043-Please-help-find-double-digit-number-which-is-19-times-greater-than-2nd-digit

"(Whatever) times greater/smaller than" is wrong/poor wording from the start. It should
never be used in writing. The problem should just have been phrased as:
"Find a double-digit number which is 19 times its units digit."
stapel mentioned (I'm paraphrasing) that, the first choice, for instance, (tries) mixing multiplication with addition.

That would be two times 1/4, in addition to 1/4. That is not what is intended. The phrasing should not exist/not be used.
 
Last edited:

Dr.Peterson

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2017
Messages
3,088
2 * 1/4 is or equals 1/2 or 2 times 1/4 equals 1/2.

Are the following correct to re-word or to express the same calculation?

1. 1/2 is two times larger than 1/4
2. 1/2 is two times the size of 1/4
3. 1/2 is twice the size of 1/4

I think that the following are incorrect or less accurate to express 2 * 1/4 equals 1/2. Would you agree?

4. 1/4 is two times smaller than 1/2
5. 1/4 is less than two times the size of 1/2
Only #2 and #3 are fully valid.

English usage people will say that #1 means the same thing, but is an idiom. Math people don't like saying anything that doesn't mean exactly what it says, so they tend to disagree! Unfortunately, you will find it commonly in everyday use; even many math texts use that wording, so the realistic thing to do is to recognize that they probably mean 2*1/4, and answer the problem that way, but then write and complain.

"Times smaller" is non-standard, but there are situations where you can at least understand what is intended. If we were to consider it valid, a slightly better way to say #4 would be "1/4 is two times as small as 1/2". But I don't particularly like it.

Your #5 just doesn't mean anything like what you want to say; it is a comparison, and means "1/4 < 2*1/2"!
 
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