# Collecting Like Terms in Algebra

Like terms can be collected together to simply an expression in algebra.

Collecting like terms can make a long, complicated expression into a short, simple one.

# How to Collect Like Terms in Algebra

Collecting like terms is easy.

#### An Example Question

Simplify the expression below by collecting like terms.

Step 1
• Identify the x terms: x, 5x and x.

• Identify the y terms: 3y and -y.

• Identify the number terms: 2.

Step 2

Collect the like terms together.

Bring the x terms next to each other. Bring the y terms next to each other. Bring the number terms next to each other.

Don't forget: When you collect like terms, bring the sign in front of the term with it.

Step 3

Add and/or subtract the like terms together.

• Add the x terms together:

• Subtract the y terms from each other:

• Add the number terms together. In our example, there is only one number term.

Step 4

Put the expression together.

The expression has become:

# Another Real Example of How to Collect Like Terms in Algebra

The slider below shows a real example of how to collect like terms.

Algebra Lessons
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# What Is a Like Term in Algebra?

Like terms are terms with the same combination of letters (and/or brackets).

The only difference is the sign or number in front of the group of letters.

Each letter (and/or bracket) in a like term must have the same exponents - the number that sits to the top-right of the letter.

# What Is a Term in Algebra?

A term is a collection of numbers, letters and brackets all multiplied together.

Terms are separated by + or - signs in an algebraic expression.