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An excellent question for a first grader

So one day a teacher is trying to teach their first graders math. She starts with the fundamentals. 1+1=2. But all the kids had been talking before hand and thought they had this arithmetic all figured out. So all of them said $1 + 1 = 3.$ Each and everyone. Try as they might the teacher couldn't convince them 3*3=9. They all said $3 * 3 = 6$. Of course when the teacher said no 3+3=6. They all laughed them off and went on their merry way.


Additional ones our teacher overheard over the next week.
3 + 3 + 1 = 6 
2 * 2 = 2 
4 + 2 = 1
2 + 4 = 1 
10 + 1 = 3 
16 + 3 = 5 
17 + 3 = 7 
18 * 3 = 7 
2 + 2 = 1 
0 + 0  = 3 
0 * 0 = 4
3 + 7 = 5
5 * 3 = 5
4 * 8 = 3
3 * 3 + 7 * 7 = 11
6 * 3 = 4

4 + 4 = ?
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  • 8
    $\begingroup$ the 0 * 0 = 4 idea would really increase my paycheck $\endgroup$ – JLee Jul 16 '15 at 16:46
  • $\begingroup$ Can you give us some more examples using multiplication? $\endgroup$ – qwertylpc Jul 16 '15 at 18:09
  • $\begingroup$ I'm going to be very upset if you're implying that I'm dumber than a first grader. $\endgroup$ – mmking Jul 16 '15 at 20:29
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The answer is

4 + 4 = 1

because

the answer is the number of Es in the expression to the left of and including the equals sign, when rendered as words. Multiplication is read as "times" for these purposes, and 0 is read as "zero" as opposed to "nought". In this case, "4 + 4 = " is read as "four plus four equals" or "four add four equals", for a total of one E.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Wow that was good. I must ask, how did you figure that one out? Trial and error? Or just pure logic? $\endgroup$ – 83457 Jul 17 '15 at 13:11
  • $\begingroup$ I second that curiousity. The most telling ones I see are 0 + 0 = 3 0 * 0 = 4 and 2 * 2 = 2 2 + 2 = 1 which can indicate * = + + 1 $\endgroup$ – Going hamateur Jul 17 '15 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ Clarification: care to share your thought process, I am curious. $\endgroup$ – Going hamateur Jul 18 '15 at 1:23

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