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Multiplying Variables

More Than One Variable

In a problem like the one below, the terms cannot be multiplied by simply adding exponents because each multiplier is a different letter variable.

y5 * x2

To show the answer to this problem, you simply remove the multiply sign and put the terms next to each other, and in alphabetical order:

x2y5

Look over the next problem.

x2 * x3y2

As you can see, in this problem the x2 is multiplying a term which has a variable x, and a variable y. The result of this multiplication is found using a combination of the two previously presented techniques.

We begin by adding the exponents of x2 and x3: 2 + 3 = 5, therefore the product will contain x5.

Now since a y is present in the second term but not the first, it is simply copied into the result. Thus the answer is:

x5y2

The next page lists some calculators and worksheets that are related to this lesson.


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