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for any number a and b, ab=a+b-ab if ab=0 which of the

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Manager
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for any number a and b, ab=a+b-ab if ab=0 which of the [#permalink] New post 24 Feb 2004, 17:26
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A
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C
D
E

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for any number a and b, ab=a+b-ab if ab=0 which of the following CANNOT be a value of b?
A 2
B 1
C 0
D -1
E -3/2

Last edited by chihao on 24 Feb 2004, 19:03, edited 1 time in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Feb 2004, 17:40
what kind of question is this. What is the relationship with a,b and h.
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Feb 2004, 19:04
anandnk wrote:
what kind of question is this. What is the relationship with a,b and h.


sorry ! Typing error
I have corrected this error.
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Feb 2004, 04:22
I wonder how you did it kpadma. I don't understand this question. Can you provide explanation?
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Feb 2004, 07:28
kpadma wrote:
My hunch is C.


How did you do this kpadma ?
I am getting a + b = 0. After this a and b can be any value as long as they satisfy the equation. right ??
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Does not make sense.. [#permalink] New post 25 Feb 2004, 07:47
a+b = 0 and ab =0 if and only if both a and b are = 0. That does not say anything about the choices.

The question probably has a typo.
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Feb 2004, 08:08
I do agree with the rest of the crowd, There is some typo in the question!
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Re: Does not make sense.. [#permalink] New post 25 Feb 2004, 08:30
mantha wrote:
a+b = 0 and ab =0 if and only if both a and b are = 0. That does not say anything about the choices.

The question probably has a typo.


Mantha is correct. I am disappointed that everyone else was so quick to give up. This problem is very easy to analyze using simple logic.

We are given: If ab = 0 then ab=a+b-ab which means that 0 = a+b - 0
or simply: a+b=0.

Well if ab = 0, then either a or b must be zero, hence if a+b=0, then both a and b must be zero or else the sum cannot be zero.

Consequently, b cannot be anything but zero so the answer choices do not make sense.

However, if the condition was ab<>0, then the answer choice is obvious. b cannot possibly be zero because if it was, ab = 0. But is a trivial result so I suspect the typo may be elsewhere.

The GMAT does not test difficult math. In order to keep it difficult, it asks somewhat confusing questions that can be solved often using simple logic once one makes the effort. I have taken the test 3 times and have seen literally 1000s of practice questions. Each of those 3 times I have seen at least one question that I have never seen before.

If you fall into the habit of giving up too easily, you will always panic whenever you see a strangely worded question. If you develop the habit of taking up the challenge, you will gain confidence over time and will actually want to see these types of questions (they will separate you from the pack).
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AkamaiBrah
Former Senior Instructor, Manhattan GMAT and VeritasPrep
Vice President, Midtown NYC Investment Bank, Structured Finance IT
MFE, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, Class of 2005
MBA, Anderson School of Management, UCLA, Class of 1993

Re: Does not make sense..   [#permalink] 25 Feb 2004, 08:30
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