The Lesson
Expanding brackets means multiplying terms to remove brackets from an expression. Imagine we wanted to remove the brackets from the expression below. We have to expand the brackets.How to Expand Brackets
Expanding brackets is easy. Multiply each term inside the brackets with the term outside of the bracket.Question
Expand the brackets below.StepbyStep:
1
Multiply the first term inside the brackets (x) with the term outside the brackets (2).
2 × x = 2x
2x
2
Multiply the second term inside the brackets (1) with the term outside the brackets (2), and add to the previous result.
2 × 1 = 2
2x + 2
Answer:
Expanding 2(x + 1) gives 2x + 2.A Formula to Expand Brackets
The formula below shows how to expand brackets: a, b and c stand in for any number or term.Multiplication Tips

Multiplying a number with a variable
2 × x = 2x
5 × x = 5x

Multiplying a number with a variable with a coefficient
2 × 2x = 4x
3 × 5x = 15x

Multiplying a variable with a variable
x × y = xy
x × x = x^{2}
Beware
Be Careful with Signs
Each term in the brackets will have a sign. positive terms have a + sign in front of them, or no sign if it is the first term.
 negative terms have a − sign in front of them.