Combining Like Terms

Apples and oranges

This is one of those algebra skills that looks challenging but it actually extremely simple. If you can sort and count, you can add and subtract algebraic expressions, otherwise known as combining like terms.

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Since the very beginning of math, we've only ever been able to add the same kinds of things. Ones with ones, tens with tens, halves with halves, and apples with apples. Adding and subtracting in the world of algebra is no different. Turns out that you can only combine like terms- terms that have the same variable portion: x's with x's and y's with y's.

Watch the Virtual GED Class video below for a complete explanation and tons of worked example problems.


Combining Like Terms 1.pdf

Practice identifying like terms and combining simple expressions.

Combining Like Terms 2.pdf

Simplify algebraic expressions with 3 or more terms, exponents, and one or two variables.


We've got choices for those of you ready to take this concept to a GED level. 1) Try some challenging perimeter problems that utilize these skills, 2) Use what you learned and apply it to the addition and subtraction of polynomials, or 3) Combine this skill with the skill of distribution on the last worksheet.


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