Like terms have same variables

Unlike terms have different variables


Let’s look at some examples


2𝑥, 3𝑥

2𝑥 & 3𝑥 have the same variable 𝑥

So they are like terms


3𝑥 2 y, 2y𝑥 2

3x 2 y has variable 𝑥 2 y

2yx 2 has variable y𝑥 2 i.e 𝑥 2 y                      (As x 2 y = y𝑥 2 )

So, they are like terms


−4𝑥y, 3xy

−4𝑥y has variable 𝑥y

   3𝑥y has variable 𝑥y

−4xy and 3xy have same variable xy.

So, they are like terms.


4𝑥y, 3𝑥

4𝑥y has variable 𝑥y

3𝑥 has variable 𝑥

4𝑥y, 3𝑥 have different variables.

So, they are unlike terms.


21z, 39z

21z  has variable z

39z has Variable z

21z and 39z has same variable z

So, they are like terms.


8, 9

Since both 8 & 9 do not have a variable

∴ They are like terms


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Davneet Singh

Davneet Singh has done his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He has been teaching from the past 14 years. He provides courses for Maths, Science, Social Science, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science at Teachoo.