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

2 years ago

Answered by Alexis, who has applied to tutor GCSE Maths with MyTutor

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist


£20 /hr

Hanumanth Srikar K.

Degree: Maths and Economics (Bachelors) - LSE University

Subjects offered: Maths, German+ 3 more

Further Mathematics

“Top tutor from the renowned Russell university group, ready to help you improve your grades.”

£20 /hr

Greg C.

Degree: Economics with Econometrics (Bachelors) - Exeter University

Subjects offered: Maths, Further Mathematics + 2 more

Further Mathematics
-Personal Statements-

“I consider myself a very extrinsic, hardworking person. I like to get involved in as much as I can and this is another opportunity to try something new! At the University of Exeter I’ve involved myself in a vast range of societies inc...”

MyTutor guarantee

£18 /hr

Edward A.

Degree: Physics (Masters) - Durham University

Subjects offered: Maths


“I am a first year student at Durham University studying physics, I also play golf for the university and row for my college. I have always had a passion for maths and I really enjoyed learning it at school. I believe that it is really ...”

MyTutor guarantee

About the author

£18 /hr

Alexis O.

Degree: Film and English (Bachelors) - Bristol University

Subjects offered: Maths


“Further Maths and Maths A-levels at top comprehensive Camden School for Girls. I love Maths and would love to help improve your grades/enourage your own enjoyment of the subject!”

MyTutor guarantee

You may also like...

Posts by Alexis

How do I expand and simplify linear equations?

How do I find the cartesian equation for a curve written in parametric form?

Other GCSE Maths questions

Solve 5x + 4 = 14 + x

Find the mean, median, mode and range of this data: 2, 5,6,12,5

Rationalise the denominator and simplify: 10/3√5 (2 marks)

Solve the simultaneous equation: 3x+2y=8, 2x+5y=-2?

View GCSE Maths tutors


We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss