The distributive property is one of the most common areas where algebra students make mistakes.  So to make sure you don’t fail at any distributive property problems lets understand why the distributive property is so important to algebra.  First lets have you understand that the distributive property is just another way to do multiplication problems- that’s it!  Example, if I said what is 2(4) you would say HELLO! it’s 8!  But I could make the same problem more interesting by saying what is 2(3 + 1) agian you would say that the answer is 8.  But the key to the importance of the property is how I can apply the distributive property to find the product of this more interesting version of the problem(look below).  Because I can “distribute/multiply” the 2 to the 3 and the 1 it allows me another way to multiply.  This is critical in algebra when we have expressions like 6(x – 2) because I can actually multiply these two together using the distributive property(see below) and simplify.  Remember in algebra we love to simplify our solutions and knowing the distributive property is a must. Good luck!



key topics that involve the distributive property:

* solving equations
* simplifying variable expressions
* polynomial operations / factoring