I am working on adding, subtracing, and multiplying distributive property. I am confused because i do not know what steps to take in order to do each problem

The distributive property allows us to simplify equations.

The following is a simple problem that shows how we can use the distributive property:

A florist is selling flower arrangements with 4 lilies and 3 roses. If John bought 5 arrangements, how many of each flower would he have?

5 x (4 + 3)

The distributive property says that we can distribute the 5 and simplify this to 5 x 4 + 5 x 3. By multiplying you would get 20 lilies and 15 roses or 35 flowers total.

*If we do not distribute the 5, we would get 5 x 4 + 3. 20 lilies and 3 roses or 23 flowers total. *

The distributive property works the exact same way with subtraction, but remember, you only distribute to the numbers inside the parentheses. Variables can be distributed the same way.

## Comments

with subtractions, one must take great care. For example 5-3*(6-2) = 5-3*6+3*2. Note that the rule that the product of two negatives is a positive was used. A common mistake is to say that the expression equals 5-3*6-3*2.