Why aren't we using the multiplication sign? (Full video)

Khan Academy

Supporting grades: 6

Description: Great question. In algebra, we do indeed avoid using the multiplication sign. We'll explain it for you here. Created by Sal Khan. That problem is that it looks a lot like the multiplication symbol Or the one that we use in arithmetic. So in arithmetic if I want to write 2 x 3 I literally write "2 x 3". But now that we are starting to use variables, if I want to write "2 times x". Well if I use this as the multiplication symbol it would be 2 times x. And the times symbol and the X look awfully similar and if I'm not really careful with my penmanship it can get very confusing. And this dot, I want to be very clear, This is not a decimal. This is just written a little bit higher.

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