# Combine like terms 3x^2y + 5x^2y=?

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8x^2y

as long as the x's and the y's are the same in both terms, you can just add them up...

both terms have x^2 and both terms have y and no other variables, so just add them up

(3+5)x^2y = 8x^2y

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3x^2y and 5x^2y are like terms because they have the same variable(x) and exponent (2y), so you add the coefficient (the number before the variable, in this case 3 and 5) and you get that answer. You do not add the 2 in 2y, you only add exponents when you multiply, like 5x^2 * 5x^3 would be 5x^5.

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• ok so think of 3x^2y as the following: you have a product that is (x^2)y and because there is a 3 in front of it, you have 3 such (x^2)y products.

When you are combining like terms, you look at all the terms you have, and group based on the combination of variables (including the powers they are raised to) in each term.

So above, the combination of variables (including powers) is (x^2)y, and the first term has 3 of them, and the second term has 5 of them. So overall, for the group (x^2)y, there are (3 + 5) or 8 of them.

Hence, the combination of all the like terms is 8(x^2)y.

The easiest way to do these questions is to identify all such combinations in a given expression, and then once you have that, find all the terms with that expression and add up all the numeric constants associated with them. You will then end up with the total, which is the total number of times that variable grouping exists in the expression.

My email address is really popstar_samir@yahoo.com, so email me there if you need me to be more clear.

Thanks.

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• 3x^2y and 5x^2y both have x^2y in them, so add them together

3x^2y + 5x^2y = 8x^2y

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