What does associative property mean?
(a + b) + c = a + (b + c)
the parenthesis means you are supposed to add a and b first on the left, but the property tells you it is ok to regroup and add b and c first... you will get the same answer
( 3 + 6) + 7 gives the same answer as 3 + (6 + 7)
The commutative property holds that the results are the same no matter the order. Multiplication is commutative since a x b = b x a. The associative property holds that the results are the same no matter the grouping as long as the order stays the same. Multiplication is associative since (a x b) x c = a x (b x c)
In the case of addition: Commutative property: a + b = b + a Associative property: (a + b) + c = a + (b + c) Note that (1) the commutative property involves two numbers; the associative property involves three; and (2) the commutative property changes the order of the operands; the associative property doesn't. Repeatedly applying the two properties allow you to rearrange an addition that involves several numbers in any order.
The way in which numbers are grouped when added or multiplied does not change the sum or product. In symbols the associative property of addition says that (a+b) +c = a + (b +c) where a,b, and c are any numbers. The associative property for multiplication says that (ab)c=a(bc). Informally, the associative property says that grouping does not matter when applying the operation.