Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 98):Why are Google and Excel changing the order of operations because of a implied value? |

Because Excel considers the "-" sign to be -1*(whatever), which is true. The negative sign is only an indication that a -1 is multiplying the argument. Which is why I can't stress the use of parenthesis enough. In written language (the one where we write using a pen or pencil on paper), the equation being solved can be written in ways that can satisfy both answers.

However, when written in a machine, parenthesis are needed to determine what's a denominator and what isn't. Programmers know this, which is why I, along with Excel and even Java, say the answer is 288.

For the umpteenth time, if your answer is 2, then it can only be achieved if the denominator of the division is 2(9+3), which in terms of machine language is written as 48/

**(**2*(9+3)

**)**where the bold parenthesis indicates that this entire operation is to be the denominator of the fraction.

By leaving the parenthesis limited to 9+3, you run into the little trouble of finding that the sum will go first but the 2 outside it will be interpreted as a multiplication. What you will find is 48/2*12 --------> 24*12 ----------> 288.