How to Multiply Letters in Algebra (Mathematics Lesson)
Multiplying Letters in Algebra
Letters can be multiplied with numbers, other letters and the same letter.
A letter can be multiplied with a number.
Write the number in front of the letter.
A letter can be multiplied with a different letter.
Write the letters next to each other.
A letter can be multiplied with the same letter.
When you multiply a letter with itself, use exponent notation. A letter is multiplied by itself is squared. A small 2 is written above and to the right of the letter to indicate it is mutlipled by itself 2 times.
Multiplying Letters to Make Terms
A term is a collection of letters and numbers multiplied together.
In the examples above, the letter a has been multiplied with a number, the letter b and itself to make terms.
These multiplications can all be combined to make a more complicated term:
We just write the letters and numbers next to each other. If a letter is multiplied by itself, write an exponent by that letter to show how many times the letter has been multiplied by itself.
Terms can then be multiplied together.
A Real Example of How to Multiply Letters in Algebra
The slider below shows a real example of how to multiply letters in algebra.
Exponent notation is used when a letter is multipled by itself.
Note: A letter by itself has an implicit exponent of 1 (this is one of the laws of exponents).
Sometimes we will be multiplying letters which each have an exponent.