Addition of Unlike Algebraic Terms

adding unlike terms


A mathematical operation of adding two or more unlike algebraic terms is called the addition of unlike algebraic terms.

The addition of unlike algebraic terms is also called the summation of unlike algebraic terms.

Unlike terms do not have a common literal coefficient. So, two or more unlike terms cannot be added directly but the addition of them is displayed as an algebraic expression.


$m$, $3m^{\displaystyle 2}$ and $2m^{\displaystyle 3}n$ are three unlike terms because they do not have a common literal coefficient. Due to this reason, unlike terms cannot be combined as a term but can only write them as an expression.

$m + 3m^{\displaystyle 2} + 2m^{\displaystyle 3}n$

Observe the following more examples for understanding how to add unlike terms algebraically.


$(1) \,\,\,\, x + y + z$

$(2) \,\,\,\, p^{\displaystyle 2} + p^{\displaystyle 3}q$

$(3) \,\,\,\, ab^{\displaystyle 2} + a^{\displaystyle 2}b + a^{\displaystyle 2}b^{\displaystyle 2}$

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