# Collecting Like Terms in Algebra(KS3, Year 7)

homesitemapalgebracollecting like terms
Like terms can be collected together to simplify an expression in algebra. Collecting like terms can make a long, complicated expression into a short, simple one.

## How to Collect Like Terms in Algebra

Collecting like terms is easy.

## Question

Simplify the expression below by collecting like terms.

## 1

Identify the like terms.
• Identify the x terms: x, 5x and x.
• Identify the y terms: 3y and -y.
• Identify the number terms: 2.

identifying the like terms.

## 2

Collect the like terms together. Bring the x terms next to each other. Bring the y terms next to each other. Bring the number terms next to each other. Don't forget: When you collect like terms, bring the sign in front of the term with it.

## 3

Add and/or subtract the like terms together.
• Add the x terms together:
• Subtract the y terms from each other:
• Add the number terms together. In our example, there is only one number term.
how to add like terms in algebra how to subtract like terms in algebra

## 4

Put the expression together. The expression has become:

We have collected the like terms to simplify the expression:

x + 3y + 5x + 2 − y + 2

= 7x + 2y + 2

## Lesson Slides

The slider below shows a real example of how to collect like terms.

## 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.

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