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Everyday maths 1
Everyday maths 1

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1.4 A note on the four operations

The four operations are addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. You will already be using these in your daily life (whether you realise it or not!). Everyday life requires us to carry out maths all the time – for example, checking you’ve been given the correct change, working out how many packs of cakes you need for the children’s birthday party and splitting the bill in a restaurant.

Everyday maths 1 allows the use of a calculator throughout, so you do not need to be able to work out these calculations by hand – but you do need to understand what each operation does and when to use it.

  • Addition (+) is used when you want to find the total, or sum, of two or more amounts.
  • Subtraction (−) is used when you want to find the difference between two amounts or how much of something you have left after a quantity is used. For example, if you want to find out how much change you are owed after spending an amount of money.
  • Multiplication (×) is also used for totals and sums, but when there is more than one of the same number. For example, if you bought five packs of apples that cost £1.20 each, to find out the total amount of money you would spend the sum would be 5 × £1.20.
  • Division (÷) is used when sharing or grouping items. For example, to find out how many doughnuts you can buy with £6 if one doughnut costs £1.50, you would use the sum £6 ÷ £1.50.


In this section you have:

  • learned how to read, write, order and compare positive numbers
  • looked at different ways of using negative numbers in everyday life
  • learned about the four operations.