This is a free lesson from our course in Algebra I
This lesson explains the concept of the distributive property. It also explains
how to solve an equation by simplifying both sides of the equation by clearing out
any parentheses, and then combining like terms. When you distribute something, you
give pieces of it to many different people. One example of distributing objects
is handing out papers in class. In math, people usually talk about the distributive
property of one operation over another. In general, if a = b, then ac = bc where
c not equal to 0. If c = d, then c/e = d/e where e not equal to 0. Multiplying both
sides of an equation by the same non zero number produces an equivalent equation.
You may adapt this property to state that if you divide both sides of an equation
by the same nonzero number, you obtain an equivalent equation. This fact follows
from knowing that multiplying by the reciprocal of a number is the same thing as
dividing by that number, c • 1/e is equivalent to c ÷ e.
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