Monday, April 18, 2011

Chapter 4: Algebra... Help! What's Wrong?

Given a and b are 2 unlike terms.
It is given that

  • 3a + b 
  • 2s + 4t

Jane did the following algebraic manipulation:
  • 3a + b = 3ab
  • 2s + 4t = 6st
Do you think Jane is correct in her algebraic manipulations?
If yes, please write down examples to show that her answer is correct.

If not, explain to Jane her mistakes and help her to correct.
[you may substitute values for both a and  to prove your case]
Enter your response in Comments.


  1. no, for two algebraic terms, such as a and b, need to multiply to join. For example cXd=cd. They cannot join by addition. When you add them together you get the sum of the numbers which are represented like: c+d=(c+d). When 2 different numbers have two different algebraic terms next to them, you state their sums like this: 8c+9d=(8c+9d). If one number has to add with another number, you state their sums like this: 8a+9=(8a+9). so the answers are 3a+b=(3a+b) and 2s+4t=(2s+4t)

  2. When Jane writes her answer in that way it means 3XaXb. So, her answer became a multiplication when she wanted it to be a addition. Jane should write the answer this way: (3a+b) ,for the first question. She should apply this for her answer to correct it as it has the same mistakes.