Mathematics dealing with numbers and letters is called **Algebra.**

**Algebra** is mathematics intended to help explain certain types of **problems** quicker and easier.

**e.g**. *Wanja’s age is four times the age of Wanjiku*.

**Watch this video to learn more.**

In algebra we use **letters**, **symbols** and **numbers** to solve problems (puzzles).

Earlier in class one we solved mathematic problems like;

What is the missing number?

Yes the **answer** is **4**.

In **algebra** instead of **blank** **boxes** we use **letters** like “**b**” , “**x**”, “**y**”

So in the above **puzzle** we would write;

The letter means “**we do not know**” therefore called the “**unknown**”

Lets solve this puzzle.

We used a letter because its * easier to write letters* and if we have several

**unknowns**then we can use different letters instead of keeping on drawing shapes.

In algebraic equations we refer to the letter as an **unknown**, and the numbers a **constant**.

And,

Is an **equation!**

#### Simplifying algebraic expressions & Use of brackets in algebraic expressions.

** **Simplify means to make simpler or easier to use format.

The algebraic expression in the “simple form”.

#### For example

Simplify 3x +4x- 2

Requires that we combine **like terms** to get; **7x-2 (which is easier to use)**

Another example,

**Simplify; 3x (4x-2)**

Requires we remove the brackets first by multiplying through to get;

**12x-6x=6x (which is easier to use)**

## Simplify means to make simpler or easier to use format.

The algebraic expression in the “simple form”.

For example

**Simplify; 20 (x +x- 2)**

Requires that we combine like terms to get; **40x-40(which is easier to use)**

#### Example 1

Simplify 6(2*x* - 3) + 4(*x *+ 2)

Follow the steps given below

step one: open the brackets by multiplying through

step two: combine the like terms (remember to carry the plus or minus sign)

#### Solution

#### Example 2

simplify 4y-5y + 8y-2y

And here is the solution

Please study it careful to learn

We add or subtract like terms

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