



Maybe you have heard that Algebra is math with letters. 


That's partly true. Algebra does use letters. 


But it also uses numbers, LOTS of
numbers. 


It also still uses all the same rules we've already talked
about. 





OK, let's do letters: 





3 time X equals
3X






Hey, that's not too bad is it? 


That trick works with ANY letter so: 





2 × G =
2G






5 × B =
5B






.5 × Z =
.5Z






This trick even works with 2 or more
letters: 





X × Y =
XY






B × I × G =
BIG






A × L =
AL






We can do division with letters too! 

















But we don't get far with addition or
subtraction: 





3  X = 3 
X






A + B = A +
B












We know that: 





3^{2} = 3 ×
3






So it should be no big surprise that: 





W^{2} = W ×
W






Examples: 





Simplify: 3 × X × Y × Z ×
Z 





3XYZ^{2}






Simplify: 2 × A × A × B × B ÷
C 

















Example: 





If a couple of numbers show up in a problem 


where
everything is multiplied or divided, 


we can combine the numbers: 





Simplify: 3 × X × Y × 4 ×
2 





24XY












Example: 





If we have multiplication and division in a problem with
addition or subtraction, 


we can do the multiplication and division 


but leave the
addition or subtraction alone: 





Simplify: 2 × A × A  B ×
B 





2A^{2} 
B^{2}






copyright 2005 Bruce Kirkpatrick 
