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Numbers and variables satisfy an important general property, called the distributive law:

            a(b + c) = ab + ac

We use the distributive law to write expressions such as 3(x + 1) in a form that has no brackets,

3(x + 1) = 3 x x + 3 x 1
            = 3x + 3

We say that we have expanded 3(x + 1) to get 3x + 3.

To expand is to get rid of the brackets.

The distributive law says that:

            a(b + c) = ab + ac

In fact, more than this is true:

            a(b + c + d) = ab + ac + ad

and

            a(b + c + d + e) = ab + ac + ad + ae

and so on.


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Question 1/5

1. (x - 1) (x + 2) is

x2 + 2x - 2

x2 + x - 2

x2 - x - 2

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