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Remedial Algebra I25 chapters | 248 lessons | 1 flashcard set

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Lesson Transcript

Instructor:
*Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer*

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

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 finish this video, you should know and be able to identify each term.

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, 4*x* + 3 = 1 is an equation because there is an equals sign.

These next few terms cover the parts of an equation. The first 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 find 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.

Next come **coefficients**. 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 coefficient. For example, the 4 in our equation 4*x* + 3 = 1 is a coefficient.

If you see a letter with no number in front of it, like the *x* in our equation *x* + 7 = 4, then the coefficient 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 coefficients, then you have your **terms**. Terms are groupings of variables and coefficients - two or more terms separated by either addition or subtraction. Terms can be just a variable, just a number or a variable with a coefficient. In our equation 4*x* + 3 = 1, for example, 4*x* is a term, the 3 is a term and the 1 is a term. The 4*x* 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 numbers.

Now let's see what you remember.

**Equation**means something equals something.**Variables**are the letters in your equation.**Coefficients**are the numbers directly in front of your variables.**Terms**are groupings of variables and coefficients.**Constants**are terms that are just numbers.

You should be able to define the following algebra terms after reviewing this lesson: equation, variables, coefficients, terms and constants.

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Remedial Algebra I25 chapters | 248 lessons | 1 flashcard set

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