Simplify the expression: 3x + 2y -7x + c + y

The important thing in this question is the letters. We want to group "like terms" together. This is what makes the expression simpler. 

I go about this by drawing a different shape around each letter. i.e the x terms would have a square, the y terms a circle and the c term a triangle.

The most important thing to remember when doing this is that the sign (that is, the plus/minus) BEFORE the term must stay with that term. This determines whether we add or subtract this from the other "like terms".

Once we have circled them, we can take each set of like terms and deal with them seperately. For example, the x terms would come to 3x - 7x. At this point, we deal with the numbers and don't worry about the letters, i.e we perform 3-7, this will come to -4, and, putting the letter back on, we get -4x. We do this with each set of like terms, and then put them back together.

This will give us the simplified answer -4x+3y+c.

Edward S. A Level Maths tutor, GCSE Maths tutor

1 month ago

Answered by Edward, a GCSE Maths tutor with MyTutor

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


Eve L. A Level Biology tutor, A Level Human Biology tutor, GCSE Biolo...
View profile
£18 /hr

Eve L.

Degree: Medicine (Bachelors) - Birmingham University

Subjects offered: Maths, Science+ 4 more

Human Biology

“ I believe that it is truly understanding the concepts behind the subject that allow you to succeed in science.”

PremiumOsian S. GCSE Maths tutor, A Level Maths tutor, GCSE Further Mathemat...
View profile
£22 /hr

Osian S.

Degree: Mathematics (Masters) - Warwick University

Subjects offered: Maths, Further Mathematics

Further Mathematics

“Hi, I'm Osian, a Master's student at the University of Warwick. I've had fun with mathematics from a young age, and I hope to be able to instill this passion for mathematics in you, through my tutorials! Throughout my time at Warwick,...”

King Him  C. GCSE Maths tutor, A Level Maths tutor, GCSE Chemistry tu...
View profile
£18 /hr

King Him C.

Degree: Computer Science (Masters) - Durham University

Subjects offered: Maths, Chemistry


“Hello there! I am a Computer Science undergraduate studying at Durham University. I am very enthusiastic about the understanding of scientific concepts and also the core ideas and building blocks of subjects. I have been tutoring duri...”

MyTutor guarantee

About the author

Edward S. A Level Maths tutor, GCSE Maths tutor
View profile
£18 /hr

Edward S.

Degree: Mathematics (Bachelors) - St. Andrews Unversity University

Subjects offered: Maths


“Hi!  My name is Edd and I'm a first year maths student at the University of St Andrews. I'm originally from a small town called Runcorn in the North West of England. I'm part of the cross country society of the University and I enjoy ...”

MyTutor guarantee

You may also like...

Other GCSE Maths questions

How do I subtract one fraction from another?

Mark has a voucher that gives him 22% off the prices at a hardware store. Estimate how much he will pay for an electric drill that normally costs £87.99. (non-calculator) (3)

The work in an office takes 200 hours to complete every week. Each person in the office works 35 hours a week. What is the smallest number of people needed to complete the work?

How do I simplify the equation 4x + 5x -2 - 2x + 7?

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