- Created by: McauleyJones
- Created on: 24-06-20 10:05
Algebra involves the use of letters in mathematics. These letters are unknowns and can represent either a single unknown number or a range of unknown numbers
Sometimes algebraic expressions can be simplified – this means that we collect all the similar terms together. We would never say in conversation “I have 3 apples plus 2 apples”. Instead we would say, “I have 5 apples”. Similarly in algebra we can say:
3 + 2 = 5
However, if I had 5 bananas and 2 apples, it would be impossible to write this in a simpler way.
5 + 2 = 5 + 2
This cannot be written in a simpler way. When simplifying using addition or subtraction, it is helpful to think of different letters as being completely different things – much like bananas and apples. It is important to note that 5 means '5 lots of ' or '5 × '.
Here are some more examples of how we can simplify:
7 - 4 = 3
12 + 4 - 3 = 4 + 9
2 + 3 - 7 + 6 = 9 - 5
3 + 2 + 7 = 7 + 3 + 2
- There are four things to note about the above examples:
- the sign (+ or -) belongs to the term that comes after it.
- when giving our simplified answer we always give it in alphabetical order
- a term containing, for example , cannot be added to terms with an or terms with a but must instead be kept separate
- numbers on their own cannot be added to terms containing a letter