Commutative Property

Think of the commutative property this way: Many people commute to work. They get up at home in the morning, dress, eat breakfast, brush their teeth, then drive or take the train or a bus to work. In other words, they change places.



In the afternoon they change places again and drive or ride home. So we call them commuters. The commutative property means " to change places."


The commutative property means that the numbers change places.

Watch how that works with numbers. We know that


2 + 3 = 5 and 3 + 2 = 5.

So 2 and 3 can change places in an
addition problem without changing the answer.

The same is true in
multiplication.

4 x 5 = 20 and 5 x 4 = 20

So remember: The commutative property means that
the numbers change places.


Commutative Property of Addition
The commutative property of addition says that numbers can be added in any order. You can remember the commutative property by thinking of the numbers "commuting," or changing places. The example below shows
us that -5 + 3 is the same as 3+ (-5).

-5 + 3 = 3 + (-5)

 

Commutative Property of Multiplication

The Commutative Property of Multiplication can be used when the order of factors are changed. This tells us that the answer will not change. In the equation 3 x 6 = 6 x 3 for example, the order of the factors does not affect the answer.

(3 x 6= 18) (6 x 3= 18)