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Equations and Inequalities Terms

Get down with the lingo

Algebraic Expression

An expression that contains one or more terms and operations to be combined. Each term contains variable(s), constant(s), or products of variables and constants. Once you have simplified an expression, it is considered "post-op." Might be nice if you swung by for a visit, or maybe brought it a stuffed teddy bear.


A number or a constant multiplied by a term in an algebraic expression. Coefficients always go first. Or is that "ladies"…?


A value that doesn't change, like pride in one's football team. Exception: the entire Philadelphia Eagles fan base.

Dependent Variable

A variable in a function that changes due to the independent variable. It is very flexible. You should see what it can do with its legs.

Distributive Property

The rule where multiplication of numbers distributes over addition and subtraction: (b ± c) = ab ± ac. Start distributin' the news.


A string of mathematical symbols and/or variables that states the equality of two algebraic expressions. Equations: bringing expressions together since 1931.

Equivalent Equations

Two different equations that have the same solution(s). However, one of them is bound to argue that he thought of it first.


An item that denotes the number of times the base number is to be multiplied. It is small and raised, like the hand of an Oompa-Loompa who has a question.


The act of breaking up an algebraic expression into two or more expressions that can be multiplied together to get the original expression. It is worlds of fun to pull out factors. In fact, you haven't lived until you have been to a factor pull.


An expression used to determine the relationship between two or more variables. It can also be gleaned by checking its status on Facebook.

Independent Variable

A variable in a function that assumes values freely or independently. That is because they are American variables.


A mathematical statement using the symbols <, >, ≤, ≥.

Like Terms

Two terms that have the same variables raised to the same exponent. Like terms may have different coefficients. We give them permission.


A four-sided, closed shape with straight lines and two pairs of opposite sides that are parallel. You can send someone a parallelogram for his or her birthday, but it's not as entertaining as a sing-o-gram.


The length of the boundary of a closed shape. If the boundary is a light, bluish-purple and you can only see it out of the corner of your eye, it's a peripheral periwinkle perimeter. Just in case that ever comes up.


A parallelogram with all angles equal to 90°. More importantly, it's the shape of a rectangular pizza.


The value(s) of variable(s) that satisfy an equation or inequality…and allows you to move onto the next problem. Huzzah.


A parallelogram with all angles equal to 90° and all sides equal. Read: glorified rectangle.


A four-sided, closed shape with straight lines and only one pair of opposite sides equal. The best of all shapes, because of how much fun it is to say "zoid."


A three-sided, closed shape with straight lines. Try back tomorrow at 9 am—it may be open then.


A value that changes. A variable is commonly represented by the letters x, y, or z, which can get confusing if you ever confront a word problem that involves someone driving along Zyzzyx Road.

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