Multiplying Algebraic Expressions

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Students who are intimidated by variables (letters in math) often approach multiplication of algebraic expressions like a totally foreign concept. In reality, it follows the same principles we use to multiply any two numbers.

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In order to multiply algebraic expression, you just need to remember two crucial concepts:

  1. We can multiply factors in any order we want and still arrive at the same answer (associative property)

  2. Exponents can be used to express repeated multiplication. This is true whether or not you are multiplying known or unknown values. Just as you can rewrite 3(3)(3)(3) as 3 to the fourth power, you can rewrite m(m)(m)(m) as m to the fourth power.

Check out the video lesson for a complete explanation.


Try practicing with this Quizlet set to practice the basics of multiplying algebraic expressions.

Multiplying Monomials (Experienced)

Practice multiplying more complex monomials with mixed variables and rational coefficients.

Multiplying Algebraic Expressions Challenge

Use this worksheet for challenge problems involving fractions, decimals, and applications. (College prep)


Beginner 1

Beginner 2

Beginner 3

Beginner 4

Beginner 5

Beginner 6

MathABILITY (Experienced)

Experienced 1

Experienced 2

MathABILITY (Advanced)

Advanced 1

Advanced 2

Advanced 3 (#12-14)