Algebra is the branch of mathematics where variables (letters) represent numbers.
For example, we use algebra to find the perimeter of a square when we substitute the side length into the rule P = S × 4.
Example of Algebra Words
|3a + 4y – 2x + 5|
- Variable - the letters representing numbers (e.g. a, y, x)
- Coefficient - the number multiplied by the variable (e.g. 3, 4, –2)
- Constant - the number not associated with variables and that stands alone (e.g. 5)
- Term - the parts of the algebraic expression or "phrase" (e.g. 3a, 4y, –2x, 5)
- Expression - the algebraic "phrase" (e.g. 3a + 4y – 2x + 5)
Did You Know That...?
The word "algebra" comes from the Arabic language. The Arabic word "al-jebr" means "reunion of broken parts".
An expression is 5x – 3b + 10 – 4c. State the variables, coefficients, constant and terms.
Variables are x, b, c
Coefficients are 5, –3, –4
Constant is 10
Terms are 5x, –3b, 10, –4c