commutative law


commutative law

Two closely related laws of number operations. In symbols, they are stated: a + b = b + a and ab = ba. Stated in words: Quantities to be added or multiplied can be combined in any order. More generally, if two procedures give the same result when carried out in arbitrary order, they are commutative. Exceptions occur (e.g., in vector multiplication). See also associative law, distributive law.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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