# What Is the FOIL Method?

## What Is the FOIL Method?

The **FOIL** stands for the **First Outside Inside Last** method.

The FOIL method is a method for multiplying two brackets together.

Two brackets multiplying each other are shown below:

Each of the brackets **(a + b)** and **(c + d)** have two terms added (or subtracted) to each other. They are called **bi**nomials because they each have **two** terms.

The FOIL method gives the order to multiply the terms together:

## How to Use the FOIL Method

Using the FOIL method to expand two brackets is easy. Just remember **F**irst **O**utside **I**nside **L**ast.

### Question

Expand the brackets below.

### Step-by-Step:

# 1

**F**irst: Multiply the **f**irst terms in each of the brackets together.

*x × x = x ^{2}*

**x ^{2}**

# 2

**O**utside: Multiply the **o**utside terms in each of the brackets together, and add to the previous result.

*x × 2 = 2x*

x^{2} **+ 2x**

# 3

**I**nside: Multiply the **i**nside terms in each of the brackets together, and add to the previous result.

*1 × x = x*

x^{2} + 2x **+ x**

# 4

**L**ast: Multiply the **l**ast terms in each of the brackets together, and add to the previous result.

*1 × 2 = 2*

x^{2} + 2x + x **+ 2**

# 5

Simplify the expression if necessary by collecting like terms together. In our example, we can collect the **x** terms together.

x^{2} **+ 2x + x** + 2 = x^{2} **+ 3x** + 2

### Answer:

We have used the FOIL method to expand the expression: