How to Collect Like Terms in Algebra (Mathematics Lesson)
Collecting Like Terms in Algebra
Collecting like terms can make a long, complicated expression into a short, simple one.
How to Collect Like Terms in Algebra
Collecting like terms is easy.
An Example Question
Simplify the expression below by collecting like terms.
Identify the x terms: x, 5x and x.
Identify the y terms: 3y and -y.
Identify the number terms: 2.
Collect the like terms together.
Bring the x terms next to each other. Bring the y terms next to each other. Bring the number terms next to each other.
Don't forget: When you collect like terms, bring the sign in front of the term with it.
Add the x terms together:
Subtract the y terms from each other:
Add the number terms together. In our example, there is only one number term.
Put the expression together.
The expression has become:
Another Real Example of How to Collect Like Terms in Algebra
The slider below shows a real example of how to collect like terms.
What Is a Like Term in Algebra?
Like terms are terms with the same combination of letters (and/or brackets).
The only difference is the sign or number in front of the group of letters.
Each letter (and/or bracket) in a like term must have the same exponents - the number that sits to the top-right of the letter.
What Is a Term in Algebra?
A term is a collection of numbers, letters and brackets all multiplied together.
Terms are separated by + or - signs in an algebraic expression.