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Study Guide

This one is insanely important when working with algebraic expressions. The **distributive property** basically says this:

and

However, the distributive property does *not* work when the variables inside the parentheses are being multiplied or divided.

and

Let's go through an example very carefully:

By applying the distributive property, we can multiply each term inside the parentheses by 4. This is called "distributing."

Since 12*x* and 4 are not like terms, this is as far as we can go with the problem.

What about subtraction? Let's look at a subtraction problem using two different methods.

Method 1 Leave as Subtraction | Method 2 Add the Negative |
---|---|

Either way, we get the same answer: -14 + 4*x*. What a relief.

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