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Adding and subtracting like terms

How to add and subtract terms? How to add and subtract like terms?

Adding and subtracting like terms rules

Adding and subtracting like terms rule:

To add (subtract) like terms add (subtract) the coefficients of the terms.

See the definition of like terms.

Examples of adding and subtracting like terms

Example of adding and subtracting like terms.

Adding and subtracting like terms

7ab + 6ab - 5ab

Solution.

When adding or subtracting like terms the coefficients are added or subtracted.

The coefficients of the terms are 7, 6 and 5.

7ab + 6ab - 5ab = 8ab

The answer is 8ab.

Examples of adding and subtracting like terms

Add and subtract the following like terms

8.8ab + 4.4ab - 8.2ab

Solution.

To add and subtract three terms add and subtract the coefficients of the 3 like terms.

The coefficients of the terms are 8.8, 4.4 and 8.2.

8.8ab + 4.4ab - 8.2ab = 5ab

The answer is 5ab.

Examples of adding and subtracting like terms

Adding and subtracting like terms

8a + 4a - a

Solution.

8a + 4a - a =
8a + 4a - 1a

The coefficients of the terms are 8, 4 and 1.

8a + 4a - a =
8a + 4a - 1a = 11a

The answer is 11a.

Examples of adding and subtracting like terms

Add and subtract the following like terms

7a4 + 6a3 - 2a3

Solution.

Are all the three like terms? No, they are not.

Only the two terms 6a3 and 2a3 are like terms.

To subtract two like terms subtract the coefficients of the 2 terms.

The coefficients of the like terms are 6 and 2.

7a4 + 6a3 - 2a3 =
7a4 + (6a3 - 2a3) =
7a4 + 4a3

Answer: 7a4 + 4a3.

See the Adding and subtracting like terms worksheet.