# How do you simplify 1/2[6-4^2]?

Jul 3, 2016

$- 5$

#### Explanation:

The first step is always to count the number of terms.
There must be a final answer for each term before they can be added or subtracted.

This is only one term, but there are 2 terms inside the parentheses.

$\frac{1}{2} \left[6 - \textcolor{red}{{4}^{2}}\right] = \frac{1}{2} \left[6 - \textcolor{red}{16}\right]$

=$\frac{1}{2} \left[- 10\right] = - 5$

Or using the distributive law, we can get two terms at the beginning:

$\frac{1}{2} \times 6 - \frac{1}{2} \times {4}^{2}$

$= 3 - \frac{1}{2} \times 16$

$= 3 - 8 = - 5$