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Algebra Basics in Mathematics

Updated on May 6, 2013


My 12 year old daughter came home from school one day and announced that she'd just spent hours with a teacher who was teaching them Algebra and she hadn't understood one word or concept that the teacher was saying.

There are two options at this point in my mind, either my daughter just doesn't get Algebra or her teacher isn't very good. I know that sounds harsh and I apologise to all you teachers out there that are good at your jobs BUT there are a few out there who really shouldn't be teaching and I've encountered a few myself. So I decided to take things into my own hands and teach her some Algebra to see if it's just something she's not going to understand.

At the end of a couple of hours (that she enjoyed) my daughter was pronounced the 'Algebra Queen' and was completing GCSE level Algebra. A friend of mine pointed out that she was very lucky to have someone at home to help her with her maths and so I decided that for all of those anti-Algebra people out there who have kids I would post some easy to understand examples of mathematics in the hope that I might be of some help.


Simplify: 2x + 3 + 2 + 5x

Okay don't panic there are a couple of steps you need to know and take so that you can find the answer to this question.

Basically the word simplify means that you need to take the expression and make it as simple as you can.


Algebra is common sense, If someone asked to add 4 apples and 3 bottles you would know instantly that you couldn't do it, it's the same with algebra in the question above it is impossible to add the 2x and the 3 together.

Your first step is break the expression into sections that can be performed, so:

2x + 5x


3 + 2

Now you have two expressions that can be easily solved:

2x + 5x = 7x


3+2 = 5

The final step is to put the complete expression back together to show it's simplified form:

7x + 5

This is as simple as you can make the initial expression and it is the answer that you are looking for.


I hope I've made this easy enough to understand but I would appreciate your comments and suggestions. If you understand what I've posted please send me a message.


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    • Eileen Goodall profile image

      Eileen Goodall 4 years ago from Buckinghamshire, England

      Thank you Missy :)

    • Missy Mac profile image

      Missy Mac 4 years ago from Illinois

      Excellent hub!!! I love your simple way of explaining Algebra.

    • Eileen Goodall profile image

      Eileen Goodall 6 years ago from Buckinghamshire, England

      I love sharing maths tricks - no-one at school told me there were tricks and patterns to numbers - have you ever been taught how to multiply without using numbers and just using lines? Maybe I should do another hub on that one, it's fun!

    • profile image

      Lynn S. Murphy 6 years ago

      This is soooooo cool. And easy and it looks like fun. Back in the day it was the alphabet in there that baffled me and I couldn't get passed that. I reached a dead end at that point and kept on in general math.

    • Eileen Goodall profile image

      Eileen Goodall 6 years ago from Buckinghamshire, England

      Thanks for all your input, I have changed the word equation to expression as you're perfectly correct, I was just trying to use very simple words that everyone would understand.

    • seanorjohn profile image

      seanorjohn 6 years ago

      Hi Eileen ,please feel free to delete these comments but you need to make a slight change. You need to change the word equation to "algebraic expression" because an equation requires an = sign or greater > than less than < sign.

    • Eileen Goodall profile image

      Eileen Goodall 6 years ago from Buckinghamshire, England

      Thank you so much for the input Sharmila, that encourages me to write some more maths related hubs.

    • Sharmila Devi profile image

      Sharmila Devi 6 years ago from Singapore, Singapore


      Your Hubpage article is really useful for those anti-algebrains. And it is really simple and easy-to-read.