What are Parentheses in Math? Definition and Examples

In mathematics, parentheses () are commonly used to group expressions and to clarify that expressions inside the parentheses must be performed first.


(4 + 5) × 6

9 × 6


Without the parentheses, you will end up with a different answer

4 + 5 × 6

4 + 30


Other Common Uses of Parentheses in Mathematics

Parentheses can be used along with two other numbers, and a comma between the numbers to show the coordinate of a point. For example, (3, 5) is a point with x-coordinate 3 and y-coordinate 5.

Parentheses can also be used in connection with functions. When dealing with functions, f(x) replaces the letter y and represents the dependent variable. For example, it is OK to write f(x) = 2x - 8 instead of y = 2x - 8

In interval notation, (a, b) represents the set of all real numbers except a and b.

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