Terms in Algebra

Thread Starter


Joined Oct 5, 2010
Terms are the parts separated by addition in an algebraic expression.
In the other hand,

parts of a polynomial, each separated by a plus or minus sign
The first one was told by somebody and the second one was written somewhere in the internet.:D

I really got confused. By the way, somebody told me that it may do with minus. But in our notes, it's only addition.

However, look at this \(5x^{3}-3x^{2}+x+7\)

Somebody asked me, how many terms are there in this expression, I said Three!:)

But somebody corrected me that there were four.:confused:

So, meaning separated by either an addition or subtraction not addition only?

Thank you very much.


Joined Apr 11, 2010
Consider this - subtraction is the addition of a negative number. So either addition or subtraction separates terms and both definitions do not conflict with each other.


Joined Nov 25, 2009
You have four terms in this expression:
1. 5x^3 - the third order term
2. 3x^2 - the second order term
3. x - the first order term
4. 7 - the zero order term

In general, I would say that a term is a "group" of numbers and variables that are "bound" to each other only by multiplication and division.

It's no big deal, you 'll have it figured out very fast.


Joined Sep 28, 2011
Yup, there are four terms in that. Your second quote is the correct one. If you want to think of it another way, there is no mathematical operation of subtraction. :eek:

Its just addition of negative numbers.
2 - 1 = 2 + (-1) = (-1) + 2
Hope that helps! :)