The properties of real numbers are very important in our study of Algebra. These properties can be applied in Algebra because a variable is simply a letter that represents a real number. The distributive property is one that we apply often when simplifying algebraic expressions. Given real numbers

*a*,*b*,*c*:*a*(

*b*+

*c*) =

*ab*+

*ac*

Introduction to the Distributive Property

**Simplify.**

When simplifying, we will often have to combine like terms after we distribute. This step is consistent with the order of operations, multiplication before addition.

Combining Like Terms

**Simplify.**

Simplifying Algebraic Expressions

To combine like terms, the variable parts have to be exactly the same. But before combining like terms, generally, we will first distribute if necessary. When distributing negative numbers notice that the operations change.

**Simplify.**

**Profit Word Problem:**Profit is equal to revenues less cost of production. If the revenue

*R*can be represented by

*C*can be represented by

*x*represents the number of units produced, find an equation that represents the profit.

**Subtracting Variable Expressions:**What is the difference between 3

*x*− 4 and −2

*x*+ 5?

**Video Examples on YouTube:**