Combining Like Terms Help
Combining Like Terms
Like terms have the same variables and the same exponents of the variables. For example, 3x and –5x are like terms because they have the same variables, whereas 5x and –8y are unlike terms because they have different variables. Table 7-1 will help you to identify like terms.
Like terms can be added or subtracted: e.g., 4x + 2x = 6x.
To add or subtract like terms, add or subtract the numerical coefficients and use the same variables .
Add 7y + 3y.
Subtract 8x – 5x.
Adding or subtracting like terms is often called "combining like terms."
Combine like terms: 9x + 7x – 3x – 2x.
Unlike terms cannot be added or subtracted. When an expression has both like and unlike terms, it can be simplified by combining all like terms.
Combine like terms: 6x – 8x + 2y – 3y + 5x – 4y.
Math Note: An algebraic expression of the form a +(-b) is usually written as a – b.
Find practice problems and solutions at Combining Like Terms Practice Problems - Set 1.
Removing Parentheses and Combining Like Terms
Sometimes in algebra it is necessary to use the distributive property to remove parentheses and then combine terms. This procedure is also called "simplifying" an algebraic expression.
Simplify 5(2x + 3) – 6.
Simplify –2(x + 7y) + 6x.
Find practice problems and solutions at Combining Like Terms Practice Problems - Set 2.
More practice problems for this concept can be found at: Expressions And Equations Practice Test.
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