Homework Help

# What is the distributive property?

What is the distributive property?

Posted by mfay8995 on November 15, 2013 at 11:08 PM via iOS and tagged with ???, math

The distributive property is the ability of multiplication to "distribute" over another operation inside parenthesis. Multiplication distributes over addition or subtraction, such that x(a+b) = xa + xb.

This means we can distribute the factor outside the set of parenthesis to each item inside, and then add the results.

Example: 5(2+3) is equivalent to 5*2 + 5*3 because the multiplication by five was distributed across the addition inside the parenthesis.

Division is not distributive over addition or subtraction

Example: 10/(5-3)`!=` `10/5-10/3`

The Distributive Property can be used in arithmetic to make multiplication easier, breaking up one of the numbers and multiplying two parts separately and then add the products.

Example: 3*37=(3x30)+(3x7)

In Algebra, the Distributive Property helps you simplify expressions with parenthesis.

Example: a(b+c) = ab+ac

Posted by flbyrne on November 16, 2013 at 12:26 AM (Answer #1)

High School Teacher

(Level 2) Associate Educator

• Up
• 1
• Down

The Distributive Property lets you multiply a sum by multiplying each addend separately and then add the products.

The Distributive Property is handy to help you get rid of parentheses.

a(b + c) = ab + ac

To multiply in algebra, you'll use the distributive law:
`3x(x+5)= `

`3x(x) + 3x(5)=`

`3x^2+15x`

Posted by baxthum8 on November 16, 2013 at 10:50 PM (Answer #2)