## The Mystery of 0-3+2: Why the Answer Isn't Always Obvious

The simple equation **0-3+2** often causes confusion, with different people arriving at different answers. This stems from a misunderstanding of the order of operations, a fundamental concept in mathematics.

### Understanding the Order of Operations (PEMDAS/BODMAS)

To ensure consistency in calculations, mathematicians use the order of operations, often remembered by the acronyms **PEMDAS** (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication and Division, Addition and Subtraction) or **BODMAS** (Brackets, Orders, Division and Multiplication, Addition and Subtraction).

**Both acronyms convey the same idea:**

**Parentheses/Brackets:**Operations inside parentheses or brackets are performed first.**Exponents/Orders:**Exponents or powers are calculated next.**Multiplication and Division:**These operations are performed from left to right.**Addition and Subtraction:**These operations are performed last, also from left to right.

### Solving 0-3+2

Applying PEMDAS/BODMAS to our equation:

- There are no parentheses or exponents.
- We move to addition and subtraction, performing them from left to right:
**0 - 3 = -3****-3 + 2 = -1**

Therefore, the correct answer to **0 - 3 + 2 is -1**.

### Avoiding Common Mistakes

A common error is to solve the problem as **0 - (3 + 2)**, which would result in -5. This mistake arises from incorrectly assuming that addition should be performed before subtraction. It's important to remember that addition and subtraction have equal priority and are solved from left to right.

### Conclusion

Understanding the order of operations is crucial for accurate mathematical calculations. By applying PEMDAS/BODMAS consistently, you can avoid common errors and confidently solve equations like 0 - 3 + 2. Remember, the correct answer is -1, not -5.