Algebra Vocabulary Terms - Video & Lesson Transcript |
Sara Shields's Lesson
Algebra Vocabulary Terms
Lesson Transcript
Watch this video lesson to learn about some basic vocabulary words that you will come across again and again in
the course of your studies in algebra. After you nish this video, you should know and be able to identify each
I'm going to introduce you to some of the most basic vocabulary terms in algebra in this video
lesson. These are terms that you will see over and over again. Algebra becomes much easier to
navigate once you fully understand these concepts. So, let's begin.
The biggest concept, the biggest vocabulary word that you will come across in algebra, is the word
equation. It stands for 'something equals something.' You will know that you are looking at an
equation if you see an equals sign. Just think to yourself: see an equals sign, see an equation. For
example, x + 7 = 4 is an equation because it has an equals sign. Likewise, 4x + 3 = 1 is an equation
because there is an equals sign.
These next few terms cover the parts of an equation. The rst are our variables, the letters in our
equation. These letters stand for a value that we don't know just yet. For some equations, we can
solve for this variable and be able to nd out what it equals. For other equations, we have to leave
the variables as they are.
The most common letter in algebra is the letter x. As you can see in our examples, we have used
the letter x. But we can use any letter that we feel like. We can use s + 7 = 4 or even b + 7 = 4. We
can use whatever letter suits our fancy. Our variables can also have exponents. We can have just an
x, or we can have an x^2 or even an x^8.
Coe cients
Next come coe cients. These are the numbers multiplying our variables. If you see a variable with
a number directly in front of it, then you are looking at a coe cient. For example, the 4 in our
equation 4x + 3 = 1 is a coe cient.
Algebra Vocabulary Terms - Video & Lesson Transcript |
If you see a letter with no number in front of it, like the x in our equation x + 7 = 4, then the
coe cient is 1. This is just one of those algebra things that you will have to live with. The number 1
is usually never written if it is connected with a variable.
Once you have your variables and coe cients, then you have your terms. Terms are groupings of
variables and coe cients - two or more terms separated by either addition or subtraction. Terms
can be just a variable, just a number or a variable with a coe cient. In our equation 4x + 3 = 1, for
example, 4x is a term, the 3 is a term and the 1 is a term. The 4x and 3 are separated by addition,
and the 1 is by itself.
Lastly, we have our constants, our numbers. Constants refer to a special type of term that is made
up of just a number. In our example s + 7 = 4, the 7 and the 4 are constants because they are just
Lesson Summary
Now let's see what you remember.
Equation means something equals something.
Variables are the letters in your equation.
cients are the numbers directly in front of your variables.
Terms are groupings of variables and coe cients.
Constants are terms that are just numbers.
Learning Outcome
You should be able to de ne the following algebra terms after reviewing this lesson: equation,
variables, coe cients, terms and constants.
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