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How to Prove 2 + 2 = 5?

Jun 15,22

This may seem like a trick question, but it’s actually not that difficult to prove! All you need is a little bit of creative thinking along with the talent to fool people into believing that ‘impossible’ is ‘possible’ with a lot of jargon, and you’re all set!

GoAssignmentHelp Math experts were amused by a Quora discussion on the topic. Here are the highlights of the thread:

  • Michael Jørgensen says that in Denmark, sales tax is as high as 25%. So, if a customer orders two items of 2 kr each, adding the sales tax to the bill makes it 5 kr. Hence, 2 + 2 = 5.
  • RombOt offers a picture of an online mathematical proof commonly available to prove this and then goes on to point out why it’s wrong.


Prove that 2+2 = 5

He points out that in the second line of the picture where you apply the square root function, you get an absolute value that cannot be negative.

  • Christopher Rubin has been creative and uses Roman numerals to prove 2 + 2 = 5. Here’s what he did:


  • Sanjay Sabnani has an answer but our Math tutors at GoAssignmentHelp don’t agree with it. He says:

2.49 + 2.49 = 4.98

According to Sanjay, 2.49 rounds down to 2 and 4.98 rounds up to 5.

But our experts say that if we go step-by-step: 2.49 rounds off to 2.5 which rounds off to 3.

But Sanjay does have a point. Our tutors suggest that it would be more appropriate to say:

2.44 + 2.44 = 4.98

Now, 2.44 surely rounds down to 2 and 4.88 rounds up to 5.

  • Larry Mann uses geometry to prove this. He says that if you put two squares next to each other, and then, two squares below them, you will get 5 squares. See for yourself:

5 squares

  • Navneet Nair smartly uses algebra to prove 2 + 2 = 5:

a + b

H-4njru presents an anthropologist’s answer to a primitive man, “What’s 2 + 2?”. The man joined a rope with two knots and another rope with two knots, counted the knots using his fingers, and said, “Five!”

So, you see, there’s no end to creativity!

With a little bit of imagination, you too can come up with your own ‘proof’ that 2 + 2 = 5! Just be careful not to get too carried away and start believing it yourself – after all, it is just a trick question meant to amuse people, and nothing more!


June 15, 2022

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