Let's review the properties using variables instead of numbers:
The properties above do NOT work with subtraction and division.
This one is very important when working with algebraic expressions. It basically says this:
However, the distributive property does NOT work when the variables inside the parentheses are being multiplied or divided.
Let's go through an example very carefully:
By applying the distributive property, we can multiply each term inside the parentheses by 4. This is called "distributing".
Since 12x and 4 are not like terms, this is as far as we can go with the problem.
Well, what about subtraction? Let's look at a subtraction problem using two different methods.
|Method 1 |
Leave as Subtraction
|Method 2 |
Add the Negative