· Letters represent an unknown or generic real number
· Sometimes with restrictions, such as a member of a certain set, or the set of values that makes an equation true.
· Often a letter from the end of the alphabet: x, y, z
· Or a letter that stands for a physical quantity: d for distance, t for time, etc.
· Fixed values, like 2 or 7.
· Can also be represented by letters: a, b, c, p, e, k
Terms are Separated by + or –
Factors are multiplied together.
Coefficients are constant factors that multiply a variable or powers of a variable
The middle term has 2 factors, –3 and x. We say that the coefficient of x is –3.
The first term has three factors, 2 and two factors of x. We say that 2 is the coefficient of x2.
The last term is a factor all by itself (although the number 4 could be factored into 2 ´ 2).