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Introduction

QUICK LINKS


Introduction

The Distributive Property

INTRO
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The distributive property says that multiplying a number by a group of terms being added together will give you the same answer as if you did all the multiplication separately.

We can use the distributive property to expand and factor expressions.

Expanding an expression is like opening an umbrella:

We multiply each term inside the parentheses by the outside term .

Factoring an expression is like closing an umbrella:

We divide each term in the expression by the greatest common factor or GCF . The factored expression goes inside the parentheses, and the GCF goes on the outside.

Just like how the umbrella itself doesn’t change as it opens and closes, the value of the expression remains the same whether it’s expanded or factored.

What is a term? πŸ™‹πŸΏ

In a mathematical expression or equation, a term can be a single number, a single variable, or numbers and variables multiplied together or divided by each other.

Terms are separated by or signs.
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CALCULATOR
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Distributive Property Calculator

KEY STEPS
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How to Use the Distributive Property

using the distributive property:

Step 1. Combine any like terms.

If there are no like terms, move onto step 2.

Step 2. Expand the expression.

Multiply each term inside the parentheses by the outside term.

Step 1. Combine any like terms.

If there are no like terms, move onto step 2.

Step 2. Identify the greatest common factor (GCF) of the terms in the expression.

This will be the largest number and/or variable that we can evenly divide each of the terms by.

Step 3. Factor the expression.

Divide each term by the GCF and place them in parentheses with the GCF on the outside.
LESSON
β€” Expanding Using the Distributive Property
PRACTICE
β€” Expanding Using the Distributive Property
LESSON
β€” Factoring Using the Distributive Property
PRACTICE
β€” Factoring Using the Distributive Property
CONCLUSION
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