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Like Terms

Terms which have the same variables and corresponding powers and/or roots. Like terms can be combined using addition an subtraction. Terms that are not like cannot be combined using addition or subtraction.

 

Example:     5x2y and 8x2y are like terms.

                   5x2y + 8x2y simplifies to 13x2y
                  
5x2y – 8x2y simplifies to 3x2y

 

 

See also

FOIL method

 


  this page updated 21-feb-16
Mathwords: Terms and Formulas from Algebra I to Calculus
written, illustrated, and webmastered by Bruce Simmons
NCTM Web Bytes December 2004 Web Bytes March 2005 Web Bytes