ISEE Middle Level Math : How to subtract variables

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ISEE Middle Level Math

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : How To Subtract Variables

Simplify:

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Example Question #2 : How To Subtract Variables

Simplify:

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Example Question #3 : How To Subtract Variables

Simplify:

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

This problem is just a matter of grouping together like terms.  Remember that terms like  are treated as though they were their own, different variable:

The only part that might be a little hard is:

If you are confused, think of your number line.  This is like "going back" (more negative) from 15.  Therefore, you ranswer will be:

Example Question #4 : How To Subtract Variables

Simplify:

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

This problem really is a trick question.  There are no common terms among any of the parts of the expression to be simplified.  In each case, you have an independent variable or set of variables:  and .  Therefore, do not combine any of the elements!

Example Question #5 : How To Subtract Variables

Simplify:

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Remember, when there is a subtraction outside of a group, you should add the opposite of each member.  That is:

That is a bit confusing, so let's simplify.  When you add a negative, you subtract:

Now, group your like variables:

Finally, perform the subtractions and get: 

Example Question #6 : How To Subtract Variables

Simplify:

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Begin by rewriting the subtracted group as a set of added negative numbers:

Now, simplify that a little by rewriting the additions of negatives as being mere subtractions:

Next, move the like terms next to each other:

Finally, combine like terms:

Example Question #7 : How To Subtract Variables

Simplify:

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

You need to begin by distributing the minus sign through the whole group .  This gives you:

Simplifying the double negative, you get:

Now, you can move the like terms next to each other:

Finally, simplify:

Example Question #8 : How To Subtract Variables

Simplify:

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

This problem is as simple as it appears.  All that you need to do is group together like terms:

The only like terms are the  terms.  Therefore, the simple answer is a matter of subtracting 3 from 4:

Example Question #9 : How To Subtract Variables

Simplify:

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

First, start by distributing the subtraction through the terms in parentheses.  Note that you will be subtracting negative numbers:

Subtracting a negative is the same as adding a positive:

Now, group the like terms:

All you need to do now is combine like terms:

Example Question #10 : How To Subtract Variables

Simplify:

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Begin by distributing the subtraction through the parentheses:

Next, group the like terms:

Now, combine them:

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