# 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 binomials 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 First Outside Inside Last.

### Question

Expand the brackets below. # 1

First: Multiply the first terms in each of the brackets together. x × x = x2

x2

# 2

Outside: Multiply the outside terms in each of the brackets together, and add to the previous result. x × 2 = 2x

x2 + 2x

# 3

Inside: Multiply the inside terms in each of the brackets together, and add to the previous result. 1 × x = x

x2 + 2x + x

# 4

Last: Multiply the last terms in each of the brackets together, and add to the previous result. 1 × 2 = 2

x2 + 2x + x + 2

# 5

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

x2 + 2x + x + 2 = x2 + 3x + 2

We have used the FOIL method to expand the expression: ## Slider

The slider below shows another real example of using the FOIL method.

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