The command `\frac{1}{2}(x+y)`

yields `1/2(x+1)^-1`

. Introducing a space before the parenthesis, `\frac{1}{2} (x+y)`

, gives the correct result `1/2(x+1)`

.

+2 votes

That is essentially because I used to write a lot of

`1/a/b/c`

type of things, and those then at first instance become

`\frac{1}{a}{b}{c}`

In general, the parser does not know about the meaning of operators, and so it cannot know whether `\frac`

only takes 2 arguments, or more.

That is counter intuitive:

- a fraction with more than two arguments
- space sensitive LaTeX parsing
- round parentheses parsed as argument parentheses I would prefer a separate command for fractions with multiple arguments for your use case.

Parsing is space-sensitive in many places, e.g.

` a (b+c) versus a(b+c)`

and this also shows that arguments have round parenthesis. In general, LaTeX is simply not enough to determine what you really mean, you need to have some additional guidance.

I agree though, in principle, that there may be things that are not optimal. Maybe one day when all urgent issues are off the table I can go back and look at this, but at the moment there are more pressing things to worry about ;-)