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Like Terms

Combining Like Terms 1

Like-terms can be combined by the distributive law:

ax + bx = (a+b)x

For example,

2x +7x = (2+7)x = 9x

3x2 +4x2 = 7x2

5x– 2x = 3x

5xy + 6xy = 11xy

2xy2 + 5xy2 = 7xy2

2ax + 3xa = 5ax        (Note: ax = xa)


Example 2.

Simplify the following:

(1/2)*x^2 - 3*x + 5 + 7*x - 2

First identify like terms:

-3x and +7x are like terms. 5 and -2 are like terms.

Then combine like terms:

Adding -3x to 7x gives 4x. Subtracting 2 from 5 gives three. So combining all like terms we get (1/2)*x^2 + 4*x + 3.

More Exercises (This will open in another page.)

Exercise 2.

Simplify:

Notation: Always use lowercase letters in your answers and no spaces.

Answer:

 


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