Coefficients as Fractions

Coefficients as Fractions

The number at the start of a term - for example, the number 3 at the start of 3x, is known as a coefficient. The coefficient of 5x^3 is 5. But the coefficient need not necessarily be an integer; it may be a fraction or a decimal.

Example 1

Simplify frac(1)(2)a + frac(1)(3)a

frac(1)(2)a + frac(1)(3)a

Because the terms are the same (a), the terms can be added together

= frac(3)(6)a + frac(2)(6)a

= frac(5)(6)a

Answer: frac(5)(6)a

Example 2

Multiply frac(1)(2)b and 4b

frac(1)(2) xx 4 xx b xx b = 2b^2

Answer: 2b^2