Math Basics

Basic Mathematical Operations

What does carry mean in addition?

In addition, carry defines a way in which larger numbers are added. In this arithmetic operation, there is a shifting of leading digits into the next column to the left when the sum of that column exceeds a single digit. For example, carrying is evident in the following operation in the base 10 numbering system (adding addends 234 and 168 giving the sum 402):


By adding the same columns, starting in the right hand column, 8 + 4 is 12, a number larger than 9, the highest number than can exist in that spot; carry the amount of ten to the next column, leaving 2; add 3 + 6 + 1 (which carried, represents 10 for this column), which equals 10, again a number larger than 9. Again, carry the one to the next column leaving 0; add the 2 + 1 + 1 (carried) equals 4. All total, the sum is 402.


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