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Introductory Algebra Glossary
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Pairs of numbers whose product is 1:

1/3 and 3 are reciprocals.

Slide 15

Quotient

Quotient

The answer to a division problem.

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Sum

Sum

The answer to an addition problem.

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Least common denominator (LCD)

Least common denominator (LCD)

Given several denominators, the smallest expression that is divisible by all the denominators is called the least common denominator.

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Mixed number

Mixed number

A whole number and a fraction written together and understood to be their sum.

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Difference

Difference

The answer to a subtraction problem.

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Exponent (power)

Exponent (power)

A number that indicates how many times a factor is repeated:

Given 23 the exponent is three.

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Base

Base

The number that is a repeated factor when written with an exponent:

Given 23 the base is two.

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Exponential expression

Exponential expression

A number or letter (variable) written with an exponent:

Examples: 23 or x6.

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Grouping symbols

Grouping symbols

Parentheses, ( ), square brackets, [ ], or fraction bars.

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Variable

Variable

A variable is a symbol used to represent an unknown number:

In the term 3x the variable is x.

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Algebraic expression

Algebraic expression

Any collection of numbers or variables joined by the basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division (except by zero), or the operation of taking roots.

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Equation

Equation

A statement that two algebraic expressions are equal:

Example: 4x = 5y.

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Solution of an equation

Solution of an equation

Any replacement for the variable that makes the equation true.

Slide 28

Set

Set

A collection of objects.

Slide 29

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