Using the Distributive PropertyThe distributive property is used A LOT in Algebra! It is essential that you MASTER this skill in order to solve algebraic equations. First we are going to make sure that you have the proper background knowledge, so let's look at a simple math problem: 2( 3+4) = ?
2( 7) = 14
Since this problem contains all numerals, we can use the order of operations and solve inside the parenthesis first. We know that 3 + 4 = 7 and then multiply 7 by 2 and we get our answer of 14! That's basic math.
But, in Algebra we often don't know one of the numeric values and a variable (letter) is used in it's place. Let's look at another example: 2(x+4) = ?
In this problem, we don't know the value of x, so we can't add x + 4. But... we do want to simplify it a little further by removing the parenthesis. So, this is when the distributive property comes in! To prove that this property works, look at the model below.
Here's a couple of other examples for you to study. Copy the examples onto your paper and do them with me. More Examples
TIP: When you simplify algebraic expressions, you DO NOT want two math symbols following each other! For example: 3x + (4) is incorrect. See how the plus sign is followed by the negative sign? This is better read as 3x  4. 3x  (4) is incorrect. See how the minus sign is followed by the negative sign? This is better read as 3x + 4. If you have two math symbols following each other, change the math sign to it's opposite (plus to minus or minus to plus)and change the negative sign following to a positive! Subtracting a negative is the same as adding a positive. Adding a negative is the same as subtracting a positive. Click here to try some practice problems.
Algebra Tools  Unit 1 
Like Us on FacebookRecommend this on GoogleAlgebra Class Ecourse MembersSign Up for Algebra Class Ecourses Click here to renew or retrieve a lost password. Search This Site
Custom Search
Do You Need Help With Your Basic Algebra Skills?Get access to your FREE Algebraic Expressions Ecourse. You'll have instant access to video lessons, practice problems, quizzes, and read more.... It's FREE, so try it today! Having Trouble with Your Homework?Need a Tutor? 

[
?]
Subscribe To This Site
Enjoy This Site?
Then why not use the button below, to add us to your favorite bookmarking service? 


Comments
We would love to hear what you have to say about this page!