__Combining Like Terms__

Ok...so this is your first lesson (I
recommend you do them in order if you don't know any, but some things are in the
wrong places ^_*****).

First, some vocabulary:

__Variable__: a symbol that stands for a
number

**Examples:** x, y, z, etc.

__Terms:__ variables or
numbers separated by addition of subtracting signs

**Examples:** 1 term - 5x,
4, 3(2x), 56.76x^{2
}2 terms - 5x + 67, x^{3}+ x^{2}, 17 - 18x^{3}

__Like Terms:__ terms with
the exact same variable

**Examples:** x and 4x, 4 and 90, x^{2} and
56x^{2}

Ok...so now you know the vocabulary...let's get on to combining like terms.

It's pretty easy. Say you have an expression (contains numbers and/or variables and operation symbols but no equals sign)...

**x + 5 - 2x ^{2} + 3x - 9**

Let's pick out like terms:

**x** and **3x
5 **and

So, let's add each pair and put them back in the expression.

**4x - 2x ^{2} - 4**

Now we want to write this in standard form, which is the variable with the highest exponent first, and the exponent number getting smaller as we go to the right.

So this would be:

**-2x ^{2} - 4x - 4**

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