Friday, September 12, 2014

Exponents in Algebra

Introduction

In this lesson, we will learn how we can use exponents in algebraic expressions. Remember that expressions can only be simplified, not solved. Also keep in mind that when you are combining like terms in expressions, you can only put together what is exactly the same.

Exponents in Expressions

Let's say that we have the following expression:

13x + n^2 - 7x + n^2

Step 1:

Combine like terms
Put together any terms that are alike; exponents with exponents and variables with variable

Note: Exponents must be of same value to be put together while combining like terms

So we have + 13x and - 7x.
Then we have +n^2 and + n^2     ( ^ means to the power of )

Let's look at it like this:

We have 13x ( + 13x) and we owe 7x(- 7x) to a friend. How many 'x' do we have left?

We have to subtract 13 - 7 to get 6
That means we have 6x left. This 6x is positive because we still have this amount.

Step 2:

Rewrite expression and continue to combine like terms

Now we have the following expression:

6x + n^2 + n^2

We have to combine the exponents n^2 and n^2 which equals 2n^2

Step 3:

Rewrite simplified expression

Original Expression: 13x + n^2 - 7x + n^2
Simplified Expression: 6x + 2n^2

I hope you guys understood this topic. I understand it might have been difficult at first attempt, but keep practicing and you will become an expert in expressions before you know it!

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