How like and unlike terms are different from each other?
The terms which have the same literal coefficients raised to the same powers but may only differ in numerical coefficient are called similar or like terms.
For example:
(i) 3m and –7m are like terms
(ii) z and 3/2 z are like terms
The terms which do not have the same literal coefficients raised to the same powers are called dissimilar or unlike terms.
For example:
(i) 9p and 9q are unlike terms
(ii) x/3 and y/3 are unlike terms
Solved examples on like and unlike terms:
1. In algebraic expression 5x^{2}y + 4xy^{2} – xy – 9yx^{2}Here we see that all the terms of the given expression are unlike.
4. List out the like terms from each set:
(i) 7a, 5a, 8b, a, a/3
7a, 5a, a, a/3 are the set of like terms.
(ii) –xy, 3y, 5xy, x, xy/11
–xy, 5xy, xy/11 are the set of like terms.
(iii) 2p^{3}q^{2}, 4p^{2}q^{3}, 7q^{2}p^{3}, 2p^{3}q^{2}Note: We can add or subtract like terms but in case of unlike terms we cannot add or subtract.
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Adding and Subtracting Like Terms
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