Introductory Algebra

Algebra is the branch of mathematics where variables (letters) represent numbers.

For example, we use algebra to find the perimeter of a square when we substitute the side length into the rule P = S × 4.

Example of Algebra Words

3a + 4y – 2x + 5

Did You Know That...?

Sheet showing arabic algebra

The word "algebra" comes from the Arabic language. The Arabic word "al-jebr" means "reunion of broken parts".


An expression is 5x – 3b + 10 – 4c. State the variables, coefficients, constant and terms.

Variables are x, b, c
Coefficients are 5, –3, –4
Constant is 10
Terms are 5x, –3b, 10, –4c

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