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In this lesson, we will look into solving equations by combining like terms.

**What are Like Terms?**

**How to solve equations by combining like terms?**

The following videos show more examples of solving equations by combining like terms
Solving Equations - Combining Like Terms

More Lessons for Algebra

Math Worksheets

In this lesson, we will look into solving equations by combining like terms.

Like terms are terms that contain the same variable with the same exponent. Constant terms are like terms because they do not have any variables.

Here are some examples of like terms:

- 2
*x*and 5*x*are like terms because both contain the same variable. - 6 and 10 are like terms because both are constant terms.
- 2
*y*^{2}and 7*y*^{2}are like terms because both contain the same variable with the same exponent.

Some examples of terms that are not like terms are:

- 4
*x*and 4*y*are not like terms because the variables are different. - 5
*z*and 11 are not like terms because one term has a variable and the other is constant. - 3
*x*^{2}and 3*x*are not like terms because the variables are the same, but the exponents are different.

Two terms that are like terms may be combined into one term by adding or subtracting.

Very often, we would need to combine like terms when solving equations.

* Example: *

Solve 6*x* – 4*x* – 3 = 11

* Solution: *

6*x* – 4*x* – 3 = 11

2*x* – 3 = 11 (combine like terms)

2*x* – 3 + 3 = 11 + 3 (add 3 to both sides)

2*x* = 14 (divide 2 on both sides)

* x* = 7

* Check: *

6*x* – 4*x* – 3 = 11

(6 • 7) – (4 • 7) – 3 = 11 (substitute *x* = 7 into the original equation)

*Example: *

Solve *x* + 2*x* – 7 = 5

* Solution: *

* x* + 2*x* – 7 = 5

3*x* – 7 = 5 (combine like terms)

3*x* – 7 + 7 = 5 + 7 (add 7 to both sides)

3*x* = 12 (Divide both sides by 3)

* x* = 4

* Check: *

* x* + 2*x* – 7 = 5

4 + 8 – 7 = 5 (substitute *x* = 4 into the original equation)

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