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Algebraic expression

A mathematical expression that represents a quantity by either an algebraic term or more interconnected unlike algebraic terms is called an algebraic expression.


An algebraic expression is basically a mathematical expression but it contains one or more unlike algebraic terms. In some cases, a quantity can be represented by an algebraic term but it is not possible in the remaining cases. In such cases, two or more unlike algebraic terms are interconnected by either positive $(+)$ or negative sign $(-)$ or combination of both signs to form a mathematical expression in algebraic form.


$-6xy$ and $2x+8y$ are two expressions.

  1. $-6xy$
    It is an algebraic term, which expresses an unknown quantity in terms of $x$ and $y$. In this case, the algebraic expression $-6xy$ is enough to represent a quantity.
  2. $2x+8y$
    In this case, the unknown quantity cannot be expressed by a term. So, two algebraic terms $2x$ and $3y$ are used and interconnected by a plus sign for representing a quantity mathematically.

Therefore, an algebraic expression can be an algebraic term or an expression formed by the two or more interconnected unlike algebraic terms.

Here is the list of some examples for the concept of algebraic expressions.

  1. $3x$
  2. $2pz-q$
  3. $x+3y+4$
  4. $3a-0.6b+c-7d$
  5. $7x^4+4y^3-3x^2y-8y+8$


You have learnt the concept of algebraic expression and also learned how they are formed mathematically in algebra for representing the quantities in algebraic form. Now, learn the various types of algebraic expressions for studying the concept of algebraic expressions further.

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