A combination of variables and numbers using the operations of addition, subtraction, and multiplication/division without an equal sign is known as an expression.
To evaluate an expression means to substitute a number in place of a variable and then to simplify as much as possible. To simplify an expression means to combine like terms within the expression and simplify as much as possible.
You must follow the order of operations to evaluate and simplify.
VOCABULARY OF EXPRESSIONS
SAMPLE ALGEBRAIC EXPRESSION: 3x + 12
Terms: The elements or parts of an algebraic expression that are separated by a plus (+) sign or a minus(-) sign. In the above example 3x and 12 are both terms
Constant Term: A term that only has one number and no variables. 12 is the constant in our example.
Coefficient: The number that appears before the variable. In the above example 3 and 12 are the coefficients. Yes, the constant is also considered a coefficient.
Factors of the Term: In an individual term the factors are each part of that term. In the example, 3 and x are the factors of the first term.
Like Terms: Terms that have exactly the same variable factor. There are no like terms in the above example. Consider 7x + 4x+19. The 7x and 4x would be considered like terms.