Like Terms can be added and subtracted.

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

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

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

## Example 1

Simplify 3p + 4p - 5t

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

3p + 4p - 5t = 7p - 5t

Answer: 7p - 5t

## Example 2

Simplify 3m + 2m - 2m^2 - 5m

The m terms can be added together, as they are all like terms.

3m + 2m - 5m = 0m, which means there are no ms.

The remaining term is 2m^2

Answer: 2m^2