Stephanie B. answered • 10/24/12

Math, Science and Language Tutor

Problem: 12a^{4}b - 7a^{2}b^{2} + 8ab^{3} -6a^{4}b - 5a^{2}b^{2} + 3ab^{3}

Answer: We want to look at those terms that have the **same** variable and exponent. They need to **match**.

Let's make first put these in order, bunching all the like terms.

12**a ^{4}b **- 6

**a**+ 8

^{4}b**ab**+ 3

^{3 }**ab**- 7

^{3 }**a**5

^{2}b^{2 }-**a**

^{2}b^{2}Do you see how the colored variables are the **same**? Because they are the same, we only need to perform the operations on the coefficients.

Let's add these up. Remember, group like terms.

= (12-6)**a ^{4}**

**b**+ (8+3)

**ab**

^{3 }+ (-7-5)

**a**

^{2}b^{2}**= 6a ^{4}b + 11ab^{3} - 12a^{2}b^{2 }**

**Final answer. Do you see how we can't go any further? None of the variables are the same, and so we stop here. **

Hope this helps

Stephanie