## The Lesson

A term is a collection of numbers, letters and brackets all multiplied together. Terms are separated by + or - signs in an algebraic expression.

## Dictionary Definition

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a term as "in an algebraic expression: each of the components that are connected by elementary signs of arithmetic, esp. those of addition and subtraction."

## Real Examples of Terms in Algebra

It is easier to understand terms with examples.
• A term can be a number: • A term can be a letter: The letter can be a variable (that can take any value) or it can be a constant (that only has one value).
• A term can have a number and a letter together: The number is multiplying the letter. 2 is the coefficient of x.
• A term can have two or more letters next to each other: In this case, the letters are mutiplying each other.
• A term can have letters which have an exponent. An exponent tells you how many times that letter is multiplied with itself
• A term can contain brackets next to other numbers and letters: The parentheses muliply the rest of the term.

## Terms in an Expression in Algebra

Terms are separated by + and - signs in an expression. Expressions are built from terms that are added or subtracted together.

## Lesson Slides

Terms in algebra can get quite complicated. The slider below has some more real examples of terms in algebra.

## What Is Algebra?

Algebra comes from the Arabic word 'al-jebr', meaning "reunion of broken parts".

## Factors of a Term

A term is made by multiplying numbers, letters and brackets together. Each number, letter and bracket that is multiplied to make the term is a factor of that term. Read more about factors in algebra

## Like Terms

Terms that have the same combination of letters are called "like terms". For example, x, 3x, ½x are all like terms. Also, xy2, 5xy2, ¼xy2 are all like terms. Number terms, like 2, 6 and -1 are also like terms. This is useful when we want to "collect like terms" in order to simplify an expression.