# Provide a real-world example 0f how permutations and combinations can be used. Explain the details of your example.

So, we know that in a combination the order does not matter, and in a permutation the order does matter.  Where in the real world are there situations in which we want to know all the possible combinations of things where the order does and does not matter?

Well, what...

## Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

So, we know that in a combination the order does not matter, and in a permutation the order does matter.  Where in the real world are there situations in which we want to know all the possible combinations of things where the order does and does not matter?

Well, what if you biked to school, and realized at the end of the day that you forgot the combination to your three numbered lock using the numbers 0 to 5?  Permutations can help you here.  If the combination to your lock is 502 then 205 or 520 for example won't work.  Using what you know about permutations you can determine how many possible combinations of numbers there are and whether it's worth sitting there and going through them all or if you should just call a locksmith!

Combinations can help you if you want to win the lottery where as long as you pick the right numbers you win!  You can find out how many tickets you need to buy to guarantee a win ;)

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team