Some examples of variables are:
x, a, t, y, b
A term can be a number, a variable, or a number and variable combined by multiplication or division.
Some examples of terms are:
x, 8, 4y,
Expression |
Number of Terms |
Description |
6x |
1 |
A number multiplied by a variable. The number is always written first followed by the variable(s). |
3w – 8 |
2 |
Terms separated by – |
7b + 5t – 6 |
3 |
Terms separated by + and – |
1 |
All multiplication and division, no + or – symbol |
Example:
Determine the number of terms in the following expressions:
a) 5xyz
b) 3x + 2y – 2x + 6
Solution:
a) 5xyz has one term
b) 3x + 2y – 2x + 6 has four termsThe number (positive or negative) in the algebraic term is called the coefficient.
For example:
For the term 4x, 4 is the coefficient
For the term –7y, –7 is the coefficient
The coefficient of 1 in an algebraic term is usually not written.
For example:
1y can be written as simply y. So, 1y and y are the same.
Example:
Find the coefficient and variable of each of the following terms:
a) 0.2m
b) –3p
c) q
d) z
e)
Solution:
a) 0.2m (The coefficient is 0.2 and the variable is m)
b) –3p (The coefficient is –3 and the variable is p)
c) q (The coefficient is and the variable is q)
d) z (The coefficient is 1 and the variable is z)
e) (The coefficient is and the variable is x)Rotate to landscape screen format on a mobile phone or small tablet to use the Mathway widget, a free math problem solver that answers your questions with step-by-step explanations.
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