# How to Collect Like Terms in Algebra

## Collecting Like Terms in Algebra

Like terms can be collected together to simply 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 x terms: x, 5x and x. • Identify the y terms: 3y and -y. • Identify the number terms: 2. # 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. # 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

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