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# What are coefficient terms?

i have an algebra test monday and i was reveiwing my work when i realized i don't know what coefficient terms are. i looked it up but it's just confusing.

given the expression  4x - 2y + z + 5 we see three terms of the expression:  4x, -2y, +z , 5.

Terms are made of two things, a coefficient and a variable.

coefficient       variable

4                 x

-2                 y

+1                 z

+5                 no variable exists in this term so it is a special term called a constant.

Coefficients can be +/-, fractions, decimals, whole numbers, etc.

In equations the coefficient is often shown as a letter such as

ax + by + 3.

This means (a times x) plus (b times y) plus 3

fractional coefficients looks like this example:   x/4  + y/2  - z/3

the coefficient for x is 1/4, the coefficient for y is 1/2 and the coefficient for z is -1/3

Hi Merci, Coefficients are the numbers which tell you how many of a variable you have. For instance: 3x, three is the coefficient for x and it tells me that there are three. Coefficients can be added if the variables are exactly the same. For instance: 3x + 5x, since the only difference between 3x and 5x are the coefficients 3 and 5, we can add 3+5 to get 8 so 3x+5x =8x. Similarly, if the variables are exactly the same, the coefficients can be subtracted. For instance: 5x - 3x, since the only difference between 3x and 5x are the coefficients, we can subtract 5-3 to get 2 so 5x-3x = 2x. Merci, I hope this helps!

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