Is the skill of Adding Monomials stumping your kid?

Read this page to clear up any difficulties!

Adding monomials is a skill all students must learn to master.  When mastered it must become second nature - just like adding 2 + 3!  I use the proper mathematical terms when referencing the different parts of a monomial in this section.  If you or your child is unfamiliar with these - please read the general introduction to Monomials before continuing.

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What must be remembered.

  1. Monomials are referred to as 'TERMS'
  2. ONLY LIKE TERMS can be added (just like when adding fractions!)

What are 'Like' Terms?

Like Terms are monomials with the same VARIABLE part.

 N.B. The same variable part implies the terms have the same variable raised to the same Exponent (power, Index).

Worked Example 1

  1. Confirm you are adding like terms (identical variables): X^3
  2. Add the coefficients: 5 + 3
  3. Keep the variable: X^3  

Worked Example 2

  1. Confirm you are adding like terms (identical variables): X^3Y^2
  2. Add the coefficients: 2 + 7
  3. Keep the variable: X^3Y^2

Worked Example 3

  1. Confirm you are adding like terms (identical variables): XY^2 IS NOT THE SAME AS XY^3
  2. Because the first rule of 'like terms' cannot be passed, we now know we cannot add these monomials.

As you can see, when it comes to adding monomials it is simply a case of identifying that the variables are IDENTICAL and simply adding the coefficients.

If you enjoyed the information presented here adding monomials, consider checking out everything else in the Basic Algebra section.

There is a lot more information, tips & hints for basic mathematics.  Check out the rest of what Printable Math Worksheets has to offer.


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