The distributive property of addition and multiplication states that multiplying a sum by a number is the same as multiplying each addend by that number and then adding the two products. For example, 3(2 + 4) = (3 • 2) + (3 • 4)
The following video shows some examples of the distributive property.
Using the distributive property in algebra.
To solve algebra equations using the distributive property, we need to distribute (or multiply) the number with each term in the expression. In that way, the brackets are removed. We can then combine like terms and solve by equivalent equations when necessary.
Remember to apply the following rules for sign multiplication when necessary.
Rules for sign multiplication:(+) • (+) = (+)
Example:Solve 3(2x + 5) = 3 <
[3 • 2x] + [3 • 5] = 3 (use distributive property)
Check:3(2x + 5) = 3 (substitute x = –2 into the original equation)
Example:Solve 2x – 2(3x – 2) = 2(x –2) + 20
Solution:2x – 2(3x – 2) = 2(x –2) + 20
Check:2x – 2(3x – 2) = 2(x –2) + 20 (substitute x = –2 into the original equation)
The following video shows some examples of solving multi-step equation by distributive property and combine like terms.
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