Kathye P. answered • 11/15/12

Math Geek, passionate about teaching

Hi, Tracy.

Like terms are the ones that have the same variables raised to the same powers. We add or subtract like terms by adding or subtracting the coefficients, that is, the number in front. If no number is written, it is understood to be 1.

Here is your first problem, with the like terms highlighted. Notice that I included the leading sign with each term.

a - 7c - 3d + 3a + 4d - 2c

We can rearrange them to put the like terms together, making it a little easier to combine:

a + 3a - 7c - 2c - 3d + 4d Remember that a is the same as 1a

**4a - 9c + d **

The terms are arranged alphabetically already. There are 3 terms, so this is a **trinomial**.

I'll bet you can do the other two now.

Kathye P.

Good point, and that has occurred to me before. Unfortunately orange and green are the only colors available other than dark and light gray. :-(

11/16/12

Tracy K.

Thank you Kathye! I almost feel silly for asking a question like that. I think what threw me off was that she was asking the part about the exponents. I knew in my head there were none but thought maybe I was missing something. I guess she was just trying to trick me. Thanks again!! :)11/16/12

Michael B.

Beautiful answer. And color coded, apparently. Now if only I wasn't color-blind. (The red and green are very difficult for me to distinguish, although I can tell if I look closely!) :)

11/15/12