# Common Mistakes in Adding Algebraic Expressions

Are your results from the addition of algebraic expressions mostly wrong? Do the long algebraic expressions with multiple variables intimidate you? If you feel like a victim of these scary result moments then don’t worry, you have come to the right place.

Algebraic operations seem easy at first glance, but they become complex when we start doing operations on them, especially for new learners. A lack of basic knowledge and avoidance leads to silly mistakes, resulting in overall wrong calculations. We have handpicked a list of checkpoints to keep in mind to avoid common mistakes in adding algebraic expressions.

## List of Checkpoints to Consider for Avoiding Common Mistakes:

• Combining the wrong variables: Sometimes as a result of ignorance students tend to combine, unlike variables by adding their coefficients resulting in wrong results.
For eg, if we add 3x+ 4y and 5x + 6y and combine 3x with 6y instead of 5x by mistake, we end up getting 9x instead of 8x.

• Incorrect distribution of negative signs:  Incorrect distribution of “-”  sign across parentheses.
For eg, if we are to add 5-(3x-3) and 2y then we have to distribute “-” across 3x and  -3, not +3. I. e.g;  5-(3x-3) = 5-3x+3.

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• Dropping the variable:  While adding the coefficients of the variable, it is very common for many students to drop the variable sign and then take the sum as constant from the next step.
For eg,
5x+4x+3y+8y+9
=9x+11+9
=9x+20; Here y is dropped in the second step, and the overall result is wrong.

• Incorrect coefficient addition:  If at any point the sum of coefficients is calculated wrong then the overall result gets affected. This is one of the most common silly mistakes seen in algebraic expression additions.

• Parenthesis ignorance: Parhnthesis ignorance is another important checkpoint to consider reviewing. If parenthesis is ignored then the overall result gets affected. Let us elaborate on this with an example.

If E1 and E2 are two expressions where
E1 = 5x + 2(x-3)
E2=  9y+1
Then
E1+E2 = {5x+2(x-3)}+(9y+1)
= {5x+2x-3}+(9y+1)  —----------- This is a wrong calculation.
E1+E2 = {5x+2(x-3)}+(9y+1)
= {5x+2x-6}+(9y+1) —-------------This is the correct calculation.
= 7x+9y-5

### Tips and Tricks for Avoiding Common Mistakes in Adding Algebraic Expressions:

• Always decide and distinguish like and unlike terms first.
• Arrange the expressions for addition with parenthesis.
• Find the sum of coefficients for like terms first.
• Always use the right parenthesis to avoid, mistakes and sign distribution and exponents.
• Always review your calculation after completing it.
• Practice regularly.

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### FAQs on the Addition of Algebraic Expression  :

Q1: What errors are most frequently made while combining expressions in algebra?

Ans: The most frequent errors are arithmetic errors, improper distribution of negative signs, inability to combine like words, and misconceptions about the characteristics of variables and exponents.

Q2: How can I avoid mixing terms that are unlike?

Ans: Before adding, always sort phrases according to likeness. The same variables are raised to the same power for like words. For instance, mix 3 𝑥 3x and 4 𝑥 4x, but do not mix 3 𝑥 3x and 4 𝑦 4y.

Q3: What are some pointers for going over my work again?

Ans: Once similar phrases have been combined, replace the variable with a value and compute the simplified and original expressions to determine if they add up. Additionally, try starting over with the problem to see if the outcome is the same.

Q4: Can one avoid blunders by utilizing parentheses?

Ans: Yes, parenthesis can aid in the clear separation of various statement sections, particularly when addition and subtraction are involved. By doing this, word misunderstandings may be avoided.

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