For some activities we perform, the order of certain processes does not matter, but the order of others do. For example, it does not make a difference if we put on the right shoe before the left or vice-versa. However, it does matter whether we put on shoes or socks first. The same thing is true for addition and multiplication. The commutative property of addition states that numbers may be added in any order without affecting the sum. Show that numbers may be added in any order without affecting the sum.
A more thorough introduction to the topics covered in this section can be found in the Prealgebra chapter, The Properties of Real Numbers. Think about adding two numbers, say 5 and 3. What about multiplying 5 and 3? These examples illustrate the commutative property.
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