In algebra, we often need to simplify expressions by combining like terms. Like terms are terms that have the same variable(s) raised to the same power.
Remember, we cannot add or subtract unlike terms. For example, the expression remains as it is because a and ab are unlike terms. We cannot simplify any further.
Similarly, the expression remains as it is because a, are all unlike terms.
Let’s look at some examples of like and unlike terms:
Unlike terms: and
When simplifying expressions, we collect the like terms together, then perform addition and subtraction as needed.
Let’s look at some examples: