
how can you tell between negation and subtraction?
I've got a formula. If I figure it out using the precedence rules I'm familiar with, it gives me a result of 32. If I interpret it as negation, it works out, but I'm used seeing negation as the  symbol being right next to the number.<BR><BR>Negation 2<BR>Subtraction  2<BR><BR>Can anyone explain in more detail the difference between negation and subtraction.

RE: how can you tell between negation and subtract
they are really the same thing.<BR><BR>5 plus 3 = 2<BR>5  3 = 2

negation: nothing left of minus sign
That is:<BR><BR>32<BR> 32<BR> 32<BR><BR>all of those are negation. The spaces are *not* at all significant!<BR><BR>7732<BR>77  32<BR>77  32<BR><BR>all of those are subtraction, because there is another aritmetic term to the left of the minus sign.<BR><BR>Of course, in reality negation *is* subtraction. It's just that there is a leading zero that is "understood" to precede the minus sign, that's all.<BR><BR>(Well, that's mathematically true, but it is also true that negation has a different "precendence" than subtraction. In fact, it has one of the highest precendences! That is:<BR><BR>7 * 5<BR><BR>is interpreted as "negate the 5 first and then multiply by 7".<BR><BR>Whereas <BR><BR>7 * 12  5<BR><BR>is interpreted as "multiply 7 times 12 first and then subtract 5".<BR><BR>See the significant difference in the precedence?<BR><BR>

Great answer Bill  Sounds like it could be a FAQ
Especially interesting point about the precedence issue where you wrote the following:<BR><<<BR>Well, that's mathematically true, but it is also true that negation has a different "precendence" than subtraction. In fact, it has one of the highest precendences!<BR>>><BR><BR>Best regards,<BR>Paul<BR><BR>J. Paul Schmidt, MBA<BR>Databases on the Web<BR>http://www.Bullschmidt.com<BR><BR>

RE: Great answer...except I can't spell?
I can't believe I misspelled "precedence" not once but twice!<BR><BR>I wonder if I copy/pasted the first one to create the second. I can't believe that I'd type it wrong twice in a row!<BR><BR>Urkle.<BR><BR>
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