Addition of Literals

Addition of literals obey all properties of addition of numbers. Suppose we are asked to find the sum of two numbers, say 3 and 5. The sum of 3 and 5 is denoted by 3 + 5. Exactly in the same way, the sum of the literal y and a number 7 is denoted by y + 7 and is read as ‘y plus 7’. y + 7 can also be read as ‘7 more than y or increase y by 7’.

Similarly, y more than a literal x is written as x + y. We can also read x + y as the sum of x and y. (x + y) + z means that the sum of literals x and y is added to the literal z whereas x + (y + z) means that the literal x is added to the sum of literals y and z.

Let us consider an algebraic entity ‘m’ and we want to add 25 to it. We write this operation as m + 25, just as we do for arithmetical quantities. We may also add one quantity m to another quantity n and this process is represented by m + n. The sum of m and 25 is written as m + 25. 

Sum of two literal numbers m and n is written as m + n. 

The sum of m and m is written as m + m = 2m. 

Sum of m, n and 5 is written as = m + n + 5. 

Properties of Addition of Literals:

Since literals are used to represent numbers. Here, we list the properties of addition of literals.

Commutativity: For any two literals a and b, we have

a + b = b + a

2 + x = x + 2

Associativity: For any three literals a, b and c, we have

(a + b) + c = a + (b + c)

(3 + x) + y = 3 + (x + y)

Identity: For any literals a, we have

a + 0 = a = 0 + a

5 + 0 = 5 = 0 + 5

Here ‘0’ is known as the additive identity.


Problems on Addition of Literals

Write each of the following phrases using numbers, literals and the basic operation of addition :

(i) The sum of x and 3.

Answer: x + 3


(ii) The sum of 10 and z.

Answer: 10 + z


(iii) The sum of x and y.

Answer: x + y


(iv) 3 more than a number x.

Answer: x + 3


(v) 100 more than a number p.

Answer: p + 100


(vi) x added to 9.

Answer: x + 9


(vii) m added to 50.

Answer: m + 50


(viii) Increase x by 4.

Answer: x + 4


(ix) Increase z by 10.

Answer: z + 10


(x) The sum of x and 5 added to y.

Answer: (x + 5) + y


(xi) The sum of m and 25 added to n.

Answer: (m + 25) + n


(xii) The sum of x and y added to z.

Answer: (x + y) + z


(xiii) The sum of a and b added to 5.

Answer: (a + b) + 5


(xiv) x added to the sum of y and 4.

Answer: x + (y + 4)


(xv) 5 added to the sum of a and b.

Answer: 5 + (a + b)


(xvi) a added to the sum of y and z.

Answer: a + (y + z)

Literal Numbers

Addition of Literals

Subtraction of Literals

Multiplication of Literals

Properties of Multiplication of Literals

Division of Literals

Powers of Literal Numbers






Algebra Page

6th Grade Page

From Addition of Literals to HOME PAGE




Didn't find what you were looking for? Or want to know more information about Math Only Math. Use this Google Search to find what you need.



New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below. Ask a Question or Answer a Question.

Share this page: What’s this?

Recent Articles

  1. Thousandths Place in Decimals | Decimal Place Value | Decimal Numbers

    Jul 20, 24 03:45 PM

    Thousandths Place in Decimals
    When we write a decimal number with three places, we are representing the thousandths place. Each part in the given figure represents one-thousandth of the whole. It is written as 1/1000. In the decim…

    Read More

  2. Hundredths Place in Decimals | Decimal Place Value | Decimal Number

    Jul 20, 24 02:30 PM

    Hundredths Place in Decimals
    When we write a decimal number with two places, we are representing the hundredths place. Let us take plane sheet which represents one whole. Now, we divide the sheet into 100 equal parts. Each part r…

    Read More

  3. Tenths Place in Decimals | Decimal Place Value | Decimal Numbers

    Jul 20, 24 12:03 PM

    Tenth Place in Decimals
    The first place after the decimal point is tenths place which represents how many tenths are there in a number. Let us take a plane sheet which represents one whole. Now, divide the sheet into ten equ…

    Read More

  4. Representing Decimals on Number Line | Concept on Formation of Decimal

    Jul 20, 24 10:38 AM

    Representing decimals on number line shows the intervals between two integers which will help us to increase the basic concept on formation of decimal numbers.

    Read More

  5. Decimal Place Value Chart |Tenths Place |Hundredths Place |Thousandths

    Jul 20, 24 01:11 AM

    Decimal place value chart
    Decimal place value chart are discussed here: The first place after the decimal is got by dividing the number by 10; it is called the tenths place.

    Read More

Literal Numbers - Worksheets

Worksheet on Addition of Literals

Worksheet on Subtraction of Literals

Worksheet on Multiplication of Literals

Worksheet on Division of Literals

Worksheet on Powers of Literal Numbers