Factor the expression 2x + 4y. Check to see that your answer is correct.

Since each term of the expression has a factor of 2, we can "factor out" a 2 from each term to find that 2x + 4y = 2(x + 2y). To check that our answer is correct, we multiply the factors we found using the distributive property. Do we get 2x + 4y? Thankfully, we do, because otherwise this would be a simply awful example.