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Expressions with One or More Variables

Evaluate expressions given values for variables.

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Expressions with One or More Variables

Let's Think About It

License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Dexter is in charge of ticket sales at his town’s water park. He has to report to his boss how many tickets he sells and how much money the water park makes in ticket sales each day -  adult tickets ($7), child tickets ($5). Today, Dexter has sold 100 adult and 125 child tickets. Yesterday, he sold 120 adult and 120 child tickets. Can Dexter write an expression to figure out today’s ticket sales, and use this to compare today’s sales to yesterday’s?

In this concept, you will learn how to evaluate expressions that have multiple variables and/or multiple operations.

Guidance

When evaluating expressions with multiple variables and multiple operations, it is important to remember the order of operations.

 Order of Operations

P - parentheses

E- exponents

MD - multiplication and division, in order from left to right

AS - addition and subtraction, in order from left to right

Whenever you are evaluating an expression with more than one operation in it, always refer back to the order of operations

Let's look at an example of an expression with multiple variables and operations.

Evaluate when is 4 and is 5.

First, you can see that there are two variables in this expression,  and . There are also two operations here: multiplication, seen in "6 times the value of " and addition, seen in "". You are given values for

First, substitute the given values for each variable into the expression.

Then, evaluate the expression according to order of operations.

The answer is 29.

Let’s look at another example with multiple variables and expressions.

Evaluate when is 7 and is 11.

First, substitute the given values in for the variables.

Then, evaluate the expression according to order of operations.

The answer is 38.

Sometimes you may have an expression that is all variables. Evaluate this in the same way.

Evaluate when is 4, is 3, is 10 and is 6.

First, substitute the given values in for the variables.

Next, evaluate the expression according to order of operations.

The answer is 72.

Guided Practice

Evaluate  when  is 4,  is 9,  is 6 and  is 4.

First, substitute the given values into the expression.

Next, evaluate according to order of operations.

The answer is 64.

Examples

Example 1

Evaluate when is 4 and is 9.

First, substitute 4 for  and 9 for .

Then, evaluate the expression.

The answer is 39.

Example 2

Evaluate when is 3.

First, substitute 3 for .

Next, evaluate the expression.

The answer is 8.

Example 3

Evaluate when is 4 and is 8.

First, substitute 4 for  and 8 for .

Then, evaluate the expression.

The answer is 44.

Follow Up

Credit: Sarah_Ackerman
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sackerman519/7576470442
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Remember Dexter and his watery tickets?

Dexter needs to write an expression to figure out the total money made from the 100 adult and 125 child tickets he sold today, compared to the 120 adult and 120 child tickets he sold yesterday. The adult tickets cost $7 and the child tickets cost $5.

First, write an expression.

Next, substitute in the given values for today’s ticket sales.

Then, follow order of operations to multiply and then add.


The answer is 1,325.

Next, substitute in the given values for yesterday’s ticket sales.


Then, follow order of operations to multiply and then add.


The answer is 1,440.

Finally, subtract 1,325 from 1,440 to get the difference.


The answer is 115.

Dexter can report to his boss that today the park sold $1,325 in tickets, which is $115 less than the $1,440 they sold in tickets yesterday. 

Video Review

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Vocabulary

algebraic

algebraic

The word algebraic indicates that a given expression or equation includes variables.
Algebraic Expression

Algebraic Expression

An expression that has numbers, operations and variables, but no equals sign.
Exponent

Exponent

Exponents are used to describe the number of times that a term is multiplied by itself.
Expression

Expression

An expression is a mathematical phrase containing variables, operations and/or numbers. Expressions do not include comparative operators such as equal signs or inequality symbols.
Order of Operations

Order of Operations

The order of operations specifies the order in which to perform each of multiple operations in an expression or equation. The order of operations is: P - parentheses, E - exponents, M/D - multiplication and division in order from left to right, A/S - addition and subtraction in order from left to right.
Parentheses

Parentheses

Parentheses "(" and ")" are used in algebraic expressions as grouping symbols.
revenue

revenue

Revenue is money that is earned.
substitute

substitute

In algebra, to substitute means to replace a variable or term with a specific value.
Variable Expression

Variable Expression

A variable expression is a mathematical phrase that contains at least one variable or unknown quantity.

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Sarah_Ackerman; Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sackerman519/7576470442; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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