Like terms can be added.
Imagine we wanted to add
Please tell us using

**3xy**and**xy**.## How to Add Like Terms in Algebra

Adding like terms is easy. Add the coefficients of the like terms together.## Question

Add the like terms below together.## Step-by-Step:

## 1

Check that the terms are like terms.

**3xy**and**xy**are like terms.- They have the same variables:
**x**and**y**. - Each variable has the same exponent:
**x**and**y**both have no exponents (actually an explicit exponent of 1). - The only difference is the coefficient:
**3xy**has a coefficient of**3**,**xy**has no coefficient (actually an explicit coefficient of 1).

## 2

Identify the coefficients of the like terms.

**Don't forget:**A coefficient is the constant (usually a number) in front of a term. If a letter does not have a number in front of it, its coefficient is**1**.## 3

Add the coefficients together.

## 4

Make the number found in

**Step 3**(4) the coefficient of the term (xy).## Answer:

We have added the like terms together:**3xy**+

**xy**=

**4xy**

## How to Add Like Terms in Algebra When the Coefficients Are Letters

Coefficients can be letters as well as numbers. By convention, the letters**a**,**b**,**c**are used to represent constants (such as coefficients) whereas**x**,**y**,**z**are used for variables.## Question

Add the like terms below together.## Step-by-Step:

## 1

Check that the terms are like terms.

**axy**and**bxy**are like terms.- They have the same variables:
**x**and**y**. - Each variable has the same exponent:
**x**and**y**both have no exponents (actually an explicit exponent of 1). - The only difference is the coefficient:
**axy**has a coefficient of**a**,**bxy**has a coefficient of**b**.

## 2

Identify the coefficients of the like terms.

## 3

Add the coefficients together.

## 4

Make the term found in

**Step 3**(a + b) the coefficient of the term (xy).## Answer:

We have added the like terms together:**axy**+

**bxy**=

**(a + b)xy**

## Real Examples of How to Add Like Terms in Algebra

More real examples of how to add like terms in algebra are given below: Can you see that the coefficients have been added in each case?## What Is a Like Term in Algebra?

Like terms are terms with the same combination of letters (and/or brackets). The only difference is the sign or number in front of the group of letters. Each letter (and/or bracket) in a like term must have the same exponents - the number that sits to the top-right of the letter.## What Is a Term in Algebra?

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

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