How do I expand and simplify linear equations?

Let's take the example: 3(x + 2) + 2(x - 1)

Start with the first part: 3(x + 2)

We have to multiply what is outside of the bracket with the individual things inside the bracket sparately and add them together:

3 x (x) + 3 x (2)

Now SIMPLIFY to get: 3x + 6


Next part, we just do the same method:

2(x - 1) =

2 x (x) + 2 x (-1) =

2x - 2

^^^ This is always a good way to lay out your work!

Now add the two parts together:

(3x + 6) + (2x -2)

Putting the bits with 'x's in them next to each other helps:

(3x + 6) + (2x -2) =

3x + 2x + 6 - 2 =

5x + 4

We can't go any simpler than this!


Alexis O. GCSE Maths tutor, A Level Maths tutor

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