Simplifying Expressions  Adding Like Terms
Lesson Objective
In this lesson, we will learn the basics behind simplifying expressions. We will start by learning how to add 'like terms' in an expression.
About This Lesson
This lesson shows you the basic concepts that you should know when adding 'like terms'. Several examples are shown as well to help you to understand this better.
Study Tips
Tip #1
Arrange the 'like terms' together before adding them up. This minimizes mistake.
Tip #2
Double check that all 'like terms' are added up. The algebraic expression is considered simplified only when there is no more 'like terms' in it.
Now, watch the following math video to learn more.
Math Video
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00:00:02.120
You can add like terms together to simplify an expression.
00:00:07.000
This lesson shows you how.
00:00:10.130
Now, let's learn the basic understanding in simplifying expression. Take these like terms, 3 x 2 x, as an example.
00:00:20.210
First, let's focus on 3x. You can see that 3x is equals to x + x + x.
00:00:35.150
Now, as for 2x, 2x is equals to x x.
00:00:46.010
When you add 3x and 2x together, notice that x and x here cancel off.
00:00:54.070
Same goes for +x and x here.
00:01:01.110
Notice that after adding these terms, you're left with one x.
00:01:06.140
Now that you understand the basic behind adding like terms. Let's take a faster way of doing this.
00:01:13.130
Just take 3 from 3x, minus 2 from 2x. Immediately, you get the 1 and the answer is 1x.
00:01:24.060
Also, one thing you should take note. It's better to write 1x as x.
00:01:32.230
Let's look at another example. Now let's simplify 7u + q 5u + 4q.
00:01:40.130
First, arrange the like terms together like this.
00:01:49.020
After arranging, you have 7u 5u and +q + 4q.
00:01:57.190
Now add the like terms q and + 4q. This gives 5q.
00:02:05.110
Add the like terms 7u and 5u. This gives 2u.
00:02:12.060
As there is no more like terms, This is the simplest expression you can get. So the answer is 2u + 5q.
00:02:18.240
So the answer is 2u +5q.
00:02:25.100
Let's take another example, 7 u + 3 v square 2 u + 5 v square.
00:02:32.220
First, arrange the like terms together like this.
00:02:42.150
After arranging, you have 7u, 2u and + 3v square + 5v square.
00:02:52.040
Now add the like terms + 3v square + 5v square . This gives 8v square.
00:03:00.080
Add the like terms 7u and 2u. This gives 5u.
00:03:06.240
As there is no more like terms, This is the simplest expression you can get. So the answer is 5u +8 v square.
00:03:19.050
That's all for this lesson. Try out the practice questions to test your understanding.
Practice Questions & More
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)
Now, let's try some MCQ questions to understand this lesson better.
You can start by going through the series of questions on simplifying expressions  adding like terms or pick your choice of question below.
 Question 1 on simplifying expression
 Question 2 on simplifying expression
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