AlgebraLAB
 
 
Site Navigation
Site Directions
Search AlgebraLAB
Activities
Career Profiles
Glossary
Lessons
Reading Comprehension Passages
Practice Exercises
StudyAids: Recipes
Word Problems
Project History
Developers
Project Team






Algebra I Recipe: The Distributive Property
A. Distributive Property
  1. Given 3(x + 2), the 3 would be multiplied by the x and the 2, called performing the distributive property and would equal 3x + 6.
  2. The distributive property is best performed when the operation(s) inside the parentheses can’t be done.
  3. The distributive property is used to eliminate the parentheses.
  4. When there is a negative symbol or a negative number in front of the parentheses AND subtraction inside the parentheses, change subtraction to “adding the opposite” before multiplying.
  5. A negative symbol in front of the parentheses in understood to be a –1, and changes each term inside the parentheses to its opposite.
ExamplesExamples:
7(x + 6)
–2(9 - x)
(3x - 4)3
x(8 + 4x)
–x(5x + 6)
-4(6x - 5)
-(-x + 2)
-(3x - 7)
B. Combining Like Terms and Simplifying Algebraic Expressions
              * Given –8x, -8 is the coefficient.
              * Terms are separated by addition and subtraction.
              * Like terms must have the same exact variable(s) with the same exact exponents;
                 that is, the only difference is the coefficients.
  1. Change subtraction to “adding the opposite” where necessary.
  2. Do the distributive property.
  3. Combine like terms by combining their coefficients. Exponents DO NOT change.
  4. In the answer, terms go in descending order by powers or in alphabetical order.
ExamplesExamples:
3x - 4 + 5x
5y + 6x + 7y + 2x
3(2x - 8) + 20
14 - (3x + 12)
-x3 + 2x(x - x2)



G Redden

Show Related AlgebraLab Documents


  Return to STEM Sites AlgebraLAB
Project Manager
   Catharine H. Colwell
Application Programmers
   Jeremy R. Blawn
   Mark Acton
Copyright © 2003-2017
All rights reserved.