GCSE(F) GCSE(H)

Like Terms can be added and subtracted.

In an expression 2*b* + 3*b*, there are two lots of *b* and three lots of *b*, which gives 5 lots of *b* altogether. Therefore 2*b* + 3*b* = 5*b*. This is called **simplifying** an expression.

The expression 3*c* + 4*d* cannot be simplified, because *c* and *d* are unlike terms. This is also true of the expression 3 + 4*e*, as the number and 4*e* are unlike terms.

Another term that cannot be simplified is 3*f* + 4*f*^{2}. The *f* and the *f*^{2} are different powers and are therefore unlike terms.

1. Simplify 3*p* + 4*p* - 5*t*.

Answer: 7*p* - 5*t*

The 3*p* and the 4*p* can be added together as the are like terms. The 5*t* cannot be subtracted from the other terms, as it is an unlike term.

2. Simplify 3*m* + 2*m* - 2*m*^{2} - 5*m*

Answer: 2*m*^{2}

Add all the *m* terms together: 3*m* + 2*m* - 5*m* = 0*m*, which means there are no *m*s. The remaining term is 2*m*^{2}.

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