If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content

Combining like terms review

A common technique for simplifying algebraic expressions. When combining like terms, such as 2x and 3x, we add their coefficients. For example, 2x + 3x = (2+3)x = 5x.

What is combining like terms?

We call terms "like terms" if they have the same variable part. For example, 4x and 3x are like terms, but 4x and 3w are not like terms.
The cool thing about like terms is that we can combine them into a single term by adding their coefficients. For example:
Want to learn more about combining like terms? Check out this video.

More examples

An example with more than two terms:
An example with more than one variable:

Check your understanding

Problem 1
Combine the like terms to make a simpler expression.

Want more practice like this? Check out this exercise and this other exercise.