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If you want to factor out the denominator out of 48/(18+6) then you would have to write it as 48/(2(9+3)) or ^{48}⁄_{2(9+3)}

I don't need to write the brackets. It's implied that they belong together because all I did was factor out a 2. But when you put it into your calculator, then YES you need the extra brackets.

i think you purposely missed what i said when the brackets dont go anywhere, as u said they are gone once the addition is done.

if the brackets go away...as you said, you will have 48/2*what goes here??*12

I missed it because I assumed you are being too literal when I said brackets are gone. 48/2(9+3) = 48/2(12) brackets gone 48/212.
What I meant by "brackets gone" is that we don't need them anymore since the grouping is done and it become a simple multiplication.

You do them from left to right if there is more than one thing.

To simplify:
48/2*12=24*12=288

While you do the parenthesis before you do the multiplication since the 48/2 is the first thing you encounter you do that before the multiplication of 2*12.

I asked a friend of mine who is a mathematician at Caltech.
here is his reply.

Quote:

The way the formula is written down is confusing. The way it's written you can either divide by (9+3) or multiply by (9+3). If you divide you get 2, and if you multiply you get 288. My instinct says to multiply though, so I would say 288.