The associative property of addition is a mathematical law that states that changing the grouping of three or more numbers being added together does not affect their sum. For example, (2 + 3) + 4 equals the same number as 2 + (3 + 4), or 9.
When working with such equations, one must always complete the computation in parentheses first. In the example (2 + 3) + 4, two and three are added together first for a sum of five, and then four is added to the five for an answer of nine. In the example 2 + (3 + 4), three and four are added first for a total of seven, and then two is added for a sum of nine. The associative property applies to multiplication as well, but it does not apply to subtraction or division.