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Home > Subjects > Mathematics > Level 2 > 2.6 Algebra > Subject content > Expanding in algebra

  • Subject: Mathematics
  • AS: 91261
  • Level: 2
  • Credits: 4
  • External

Mathematics 2.6 Apply algebraic methods in solving problems

Expanding in algebra

Expanding is to remove brackets from an algebraic expression.

One bracket

All terms inside the bracket are multiplied by the term outside.
algebraic formula
Note that the negative sign belongs to the term directly following it.

 e.g.   -3(4a – 5) = –3 x 4a  + –3 x (–5) =  –12a + 15 

See online example of multiplying out brackets and expressions that use negative numbers.

Multiplying out two brackets

If there are two brackets, multiply everything in the first bracket by everything in the second bracket. To simplify, add the like terms together.
algebraic formula

See online example of multiplying out two brackets.

Brackets and squares
If a bracket is squared, write it as bracket times bracket and expand.

 e.g.   (2x + 3)2 = (2x + 3)(2x + 3)
                        = 4x2 + 6x + 6x + 9
                        = 4x2 + 12x + 9

Brackets and powers

Algebasics – Section 7: Polynomials (Macromedia Flash® and sound required)

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