# How to Multiply Terms in Algebra (Mathematics Lesson)

# Multiplying Terms in Algebra

Terms can be multiplied.

Imagine we wanted to multiply the terms **2a** and **3b**.

# How to Multiply Terms in Algebra

Multiplying terms is easy.

#### An Example Question

Multiply the two terms below.

Multiply the numbers that appear in the terms. In our example, the numbers are **2** and **3**.

**2**a ×

**3**b

**2**×

**3**=

**6**

**6** will appear in the answer:

Multiply the letters that appear in both terms. In our example, no letter appears in both terms.

Find letters that only appear in one term.

**a** only appears in **2a**. **a** will appear in the answer:

**b** only appears in **3b**. **b** will appear in the answer:

Write the results from the previous steps next to each other.

**6** was the result of **Step 1**. **a** and **b** were the result of **Step 3**.

Check the signs. In our example, both terms are positive, so their product is positive.

We have multiplied the terms together:

**2a**×

**3b**=

**6ab**

# A Real Example of How to Multiply Terms in Algebra

This is a more complicated example.

#### An Example Question

Multiply the two terms below.

Multiply the numbers that appear in the terms. In our example, the number is **2** in one term. The other does not appear to have a number, which means it actually has a number of **1**.

**2**ab × -ac

^{2}=

**2**ab × -

**1**ac

^{2}

**2**×

**1**=

**2**

**2** will appear in the answer:

Multiply the letters that appear in both terms. In our example, **a** appears in both terms.

**a**b × -

**a**c

^{2}

**a**×

**a**=

**a**

^{2}**Don't forget:** = a × a = a^{2} (a squared).

**a ^{2}** will appear in the answer:

Find letters that only appear in one term.

**b** only appears in **2ab**. **b** will appear in the answer:

**c** only appears in **-ac ^{2}**. It appears with an exponent of 2:

**c**(c squared).

^{2}**c**will appear in the answer:

^{2}Write the results from the previous steps next to each other.

**2** was the result of **Step 1**. **a ^{2}** was the result of

**Step 2**.

**b**and

**c**were the result of

^{2}**Step 3**.

Check the signs. In our example, one terms is positive, the other negative. Their product is negative.

We have multiplied the terms together:

**2ab**×

**-ac**=

^{2}**-2a**

^{2}bc^{2}# Another Real Example of How to Multiply Terms in Algebra

The slider below shows a real example of how to multiply terms in algebra.

##### Curriculum

##### Interactive Test

**show**

Here's a second test on multiplying terms.

Here's a third test on multiplying terms.

##### Note

# What Is a Term in Algebra?

A term is a collection of numbers, letters and brackets all multiplied together.

# Multiplying the Same Letter Using Exponent Notation

There is a law for multiplying terms with exponents. Add the exponents to each other.

##### Top Tip

# Rules For Signs: Multiplication

Same signs give a plus:

Different signs give a minus: