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Algebraic Expressions

Created by Kenny Kong HKIS 200

3

Lesson Objectives

- Know how to simplify an expression.
- Know how to apply the order of operation in an

expression. - Know how to evaluate an algebraic expression.

Simplifying Expressions

- What does it mean when you are asked to simplify

an expression? - Numbers can be named in many different ways.
- For example 1/2, 0.5, 50, and 3/6 all name the

same number. - When you are told to simplify an expression, you

need to get the simplest name possible. - For example, because 3/6 can be reduced, 1/2 is

the simplest name of the number.

Simplifying Expressions

- Mathematical expressions, like numbers, can be

named in different ways. - For example, here are three ways to write the

same expression - 1. x -3
- 2. x (-3) When you have two signs

side by side, parentheses can be used to

keep the signs separate. - 3. x - 3 Remember that Lesson 1 showed

that subtracting a positive 3 is the same as

adding the opposite of a positive 3.

Operation of multiplication

- The operation of multiplication can be shown in

many ways. - The dot (?) or an asterisk is used to indicate

multiplication. - This notation (2 x 3) to show multiplication.
- However, in algebra x is rarely used to indicate

multiplication since it may be unclear whether

the x is a variable or a multiplication sign. - To avoid confusion over the use of the x,

multiplication is indicated by the use of

parentheses (2)(3) also, when you see an

expression such as 3ab, it is telling you to

multiply 3 times a times b.

Order of Operations

- Do you know that it is possible to get more than

one answer for the same problem? - If your common sense tells you that you can have

only one right answer for a problem, you are

exactly correct. - You need to work all problems in a specific order

to ensure that you always get the right answer to

a problem. - This order is called Order of Operations.

Example 3 4 ? 5 6

- Simplify the above expression.

- At first glance, one might think it is easy
- 3 4 7 and 5 6 11, then 7 ? 11 77.
- Another person might say 3 4 7 and 7 ? 5

35 and 35 6 41. - Would you believe that both these answers are

wrong?

- To eliminate the possibility of getting several

answers for the same problem, you must follow a

specific order called Order of Operations.

Order of Operations

- This specific order and the steps you follow are
- 1. Perform the operations inside grouping

symbols such as ( ), , and . The

division bar can also act as a grouping

symbol. The division bar or fraction bar tells

you to do the steps in the numerator and the

denominator before you divide. - 2. Evaluate exponents (powers) such as 32.
- 3. Do all multiplication and division in

order from left to right. - 4. Do all addition and subtraction in order

from left to right.

Example 3 4 ? 5 6

- Simplify the above expression.

- Use the order of operation to get the correct

answer.

- Multiply 4 ? 5.

3 4 ? 5 6

- Simplify.

3 6

20

- Add the number in order from left to right.

29

The only correct answer is 29.

Example 5 4 ? 2 ? 3 6

- Simplify the above expression.

- Do division and multiplication first in order

from left to right.

- Divide 4 ? 2.

5 4 ? 2 ? 3 6

- Simplify.

5 ? 3 6

2

5 6

6

- Multiply 2 ? 3.

- Add the number in order from left to right.

17

The only correct answer is 17.

Example Simplify 8 4(9 ? 6) ? 5

- Do the operation inside the ( ) first.
- Also, the use of ( ) can indicate multiplication.

The notation 4(9 ? 6) means 4 times (9 ? 6).

- Subtract 9 ? 6 inside the ( ).

8 4(9 ? 6) ? 5

- Simplify.

8 4( ) ? 5

3

- Multiply 4 ? 3.

8 ? 5

12

- Add the number in order from left to right.

20 ? 5

15

The only correct answer is 15.

Example 2 32 3(25 ? 5) ? 4 3

Simplify the above expression.

Divide 25 ? 5 inside the ( ).

2 32 3(25 ? 5) ? 4 3

Simplify.

5

2 32 3( ) ? 4 3

Simplify the exponent 32.

2 3(5) ? 4 3

9

Multiply 3 ? 5.

15

2 9 ? 4 3

15 ? 4 3

11

Add and subtract in order from left to right.

? 4 3

26

3

22

25

The only correct answer is 25.

Working with Multiple Grouping Symbols

- What would you do if you had grouping symbols

inside symbols? - To simplify the sampled expression
- 32 411 ? 2(4) 1,
- Start from the inside and work to the outside.

In this case, the first step is to multiply 2(4).

Example 32 411 ? 2(4) 1

Simplify the above expression.

Multiply 2(4) inside the .

32 411 ? 2(4) 1

Simplify.

8

32 411 ? 1

Subtract 11 ? 8.

32 4 1

3

Multiply 4 ? 3.

12

32 1

3

Add 2 12 1 inside the .

15

45

Multiply 3 ? 15.

The only correct answer is 45.

Evaluating Algebraic Expressions

- What is the difference between simplifying an

expression and evaluating an expression? - In algebra, letters are often used to represent

numbers. These letters are called variables. - When you are asked to evaluate an algebraic

expression, you substitute a number in place of a

variable (letter) and then simplify the

expression.

Example

- Evaluate the expression a2 2b c when a 3,

b 5, and c -2.

When the expression is written as 2b, it means 2

times b.

a2 2b c

Substitute 3 for a, 5 for b, and -2 for c.

2 2( )

3

5

-2

Find the value of 32.

2(5) -2

9

Multiply 2 ? 5.

9 -2

10

17

Add the numbers.

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