Jars.In the expression above, the variable jappears twice. When the same variables, with the same exponents on those variables, appear in anexpression more than once, they are considered "like terms." "Like terms" in an expression should becombined, whenever possible, in order to simplify the expressions - a process referred to as combining like terms. Simplifying an expression by combininglike terms can be helpful for a number of reasons, including solving equations.To understand how we can combine these terms, or why we even want to combine these terms, let's assign meaning to this variable. Let's say the variable jrepresents jars. Replacing jwith jars, the expression reads as follows:In this example, we have one jar, plus two jars, which equals three jars:As shown above, combining like terms leaves us with a shorter, more desirable expression: "3j." This process of combining like terms can be completed with any "like" variable, even when there are other variables involved in an expression. We canadd a "cookie" to our jar example:In the example above, we only combine the like terms. The presence of "cookie" does not prevent us from combining the "jars," but also does not getcombined with "jars" because it's a different variable.3.04.1 Identifying Like TermsIdentifying Like TermsTo combine like terms, we first need to identify which terms qualify as "like terms."As a reminder, a term is comprised of a constant multiplied by variable(s) and their exponent(s).When identifying whether two terms are like terms, we only need to examine the variable(s) and their exponent(s); we can ignore the coefficient in the term.Like TermsThe following pairs of terms are like terms:j+ 2j(jar)+ 2(jar)one jar+two jars = three jars(jar)+ 2(jar)= 3(jar)j+ 2j= 3jone jar+one cookie + two jars = three jars + one cookie(jar)+(cookie)+ 2(jar)= 3(jar)+(cookie)j+c+ 2j= 3j+cFor terms to be like terms, they need to havethe same variable(s) with the same exponent(s).Like Termsaand 2a-4and 73D2; and 6D2The terms aand 2aare like terms because they share the same variable: a. After ignoring any coefficients in the terms aand 2a, we are left with the same variable: a. There is no exponent written next to either variable, so the exponent is the same for both terms.The terms -4and 7are like terms because they are both constants, and therefore they both lack a variable. This lack of a variable constitutes an identical variable.