Puzzle

There are At Least 5 Answers To This Math Puzzle!

Have some fun. How many can you figure out? Be legitimately creative in finding the answers.

Elye
4 min readSep 13, 2023

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Image Generated by the Author

Just for fun, one day I posted what I thought seemingly easy puzzle to a software development team.

It’s simple math with plus and minus, and by moving a match stick that forms the following equation, to make them correct.

8 + 3 - 4 = 0

I know 3 of them ahead, but to my surprise, there are 2 more that came out of expectation. Let me share them below

Warning: DON’T SCROLL DOWN IF YOU LIKE TO ATTEMPT THE PUZZLE FIRST. ALL 5 ANSWERS BELOW.

I recommend trying yourself first before looking at the answer.

Illegitimate answers

Before that, let’s rule out some I consider illegitimate.

There are some creative people who come up with something that I think is not legitimate, like creating a ≠ sign. e.g.

Moving one stick we can form the below. This will generate numerous answers that I don’t think are valid in this case.

8 - 3 - 4 ≠ 0

After eliminating all the ≠ cases, let’s look at the 5 of them.

Scroll them down slowly if you want to get some hint first before answer them

1. Change Just the Left Side Equation

Hint: let’s not worry about the right side of the equation. Just focus on changing the numbers on the left side

— —— — — — — — — Answer below — — — — — — — — —

Answer

Just move 1 stick from the 8, and change the 4 to be 9

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