In these lessons, we will learn what variables, constants, terms, expressions and coefficients are in algebra.
The following diagram gives an example of algebraic expression. Scroll down the page for more examples.
In mathematics, often the value of a certain number may be unknown. A variable is a symbol, usually a letter, which is used to represent an unknown number.
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,
An expression can be term or a collection of terms separated by addition or subtraction operators. Some examples of expressions, with the numbers of terms, are listed below:
|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|
Determine the number of terms in the following expressions:
b) 3x + 2y – 2x + 6
a) 5xyz has one term
The number (positive or negative) in the algebraic term is called the coefficient.
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.
1y can be written as simply y. So, 1y and y are the same.
Find the coefficient and variable of each of the following terms:
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)
A presentation of the terms of an algebraic expression.
The number and types of terms are presented.
Constants, variables and numerical coefficients, terms and expressions are discussed.
This video shows the parts of an expression (terms, coefficients and variables) then explains about evaluating expressions using some examples.
What is a Term?
A term is any coefficient and its variable.
Identify the term in the expression:
4x - 2y + 5
Identify the coefficient and variable in the term:
Expressions are put into their simplest form so as not to be confusing or too complex. One way of simplifying expressions is to combine like terms. By combining terms we can shorten and simplify our expressions, making them easier to read. Like terms often contain the same variable or variables.
This video shows how to simplify algebraic expressions by using the distributive property and combine like terms.
In this video, you’ll learn how to identify the parts of an expression in Algebra. You’ll learn about expressions, terms, coefficients, and more.
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