Can any one clarify <u>exactly </u>what the multiplication symbol signifies: Does 2x3 mean 1) 2, 3 times i.e. 2 + 2+ 2 OR 2) 2 groups of 3 i.e. 3 + 3 I am well aware the numierical <u>result</u> will be the same but that does not actually define what "X" means. I am also aware one can show the net result of either gives the same numerical result by using an array - but that still does not answer the question - what does "X" actually mathematically mean? Multiplication is now being taught in Primary schools using both these methods : once one has covered fact that the numerical result of 2x3 = the numerical result of 3X 2 , it dosen't really pose any problem. However before getting to this point one has to be able to explain clearly what for example 2x3 means: this is not helpful when some schools (after the introduction of the Primary Strategy) teach one meaning & other schools the other. I would also be interested how secondary school maths teachers would explain what the multiplication sign meant and whether teaching the meaning of the multiplication sign to mean either of the above meanings causes problems further on when teaching maths in secondary school.