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# Lesson 7:  Commutative Property of Addition

This is an easy lesson which involves a topic that comes up again and again.

Don't forget to watch the embedded YouTube video clip for this lesson at the bottom of the page.

When adding two numbers together, it doesn't matter what order you add them in.  This is because adding is just a way of combining.  If I have 3 apples and my friend has 5, it doesn't matter if we do 3 + 5 or 5 + 3.  Either way they add up to 8.  This is called the commutative property of addition.  Some tests questions are designed to see if you the name of this mathematical property, so memorize the name.

It's important to understand that this property does not work for all other operations.  For example, it does not work for subtraction.  5 - 3 is not the same as 3 - 5.

Make sure that you understand that no matter what two numbers you add, no matter how large or small, it doesn't matter what order you add them in.  The answer will be the same.  Using letters to represent numbers, we could say that a + b = b + a.

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