# To Evaluate an Algebraic Expression

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1 1.5 Evaluating Algebraic Expressions 1.5 OBJECTIVES 1. Evaluate algebraic expressions given any signed number value for the variables 2. Use a calculator to evaluate algebraic expressions 3. Find the sum of a set of signed numbers 4. Interpret summation notation In applying algebra to problem solving, you will often want to find the value of an algebraic expression when you know certain values for the letters (or variables) in the expression. Finding the value of an expression is called evaluating the expression and uses the following steps. Step by Step: To Evaluate an Algebraic Expression Step 1 Step 2 Replace each variable by the given number value. Do the necessary arithmetic operations, following the rules for order of operations. Example 1 Evaluating Algebraic Expressions Suppose that a 5 and b 7. (a) To evaluate a b, we replace a with 5 and b with 7. a b (b) To evaluate 3ab, we again replace a with 5 and b with 7. 3ab CHECK YOURSELF 1 If x 6 and y 7, evaluate. (a) y x (b) 5xy We are now ready to evaluate algebraic expressions that require following the rules for the order of operations. 103

2 104 CHAPTER 1 THE LANGUAGE OF ALGEBRA Example 2 Evaluating Algebraic Expressions CAUTION This is different from (3c) 2 (3 4) Evaluate the following expressions if a 2, b 3, c 4, and d 5. (a) 5a 7b Multiply first Then add. (b) 3c Evaluate the power Then multiply. (c) 7(c d) 7(4 5) Add inside the parentheses (d) 5a 4 2d Evaluate the powers Multiply Subtract. CHECK YOURSELF 2 If x 3, y 2, z 4, and w 5, evaluate the following expressions. (a) 4x 2 2 (b) 5(z w) (c) 7(z 2 y 2 ) To evaluate algebraic expressions when a fraction bar is used, do the following: Start by doing all the work in the numerator, then do the work in the denominator. Divide the numerator by the denominator as the last step. Example 3 Evaluating Algebraic Expressions NOTE As we mentioned in Section 1.4, the fraction bar is a grouping symbol, like parentheses. Work first in the numerator and then in the denominator. If p 2, q 3, and r 4, evaluate: 8p (a) r Replace p with 2 and r with 4. 8p r (b) 7q r p q CHECK YOURSELF 3 Divide as the last step. Now evaluate the top and bottom separately. Evaluate the following if c 5, d 8, and e 3. 6c 4d e (a) (b) (c) 10d e e c d e

3 EVALUATING ALGEBRAIC EXPRESSIONS SECTION Example 4 shows how a scientific calculator can be used to evaluate algebraic expressions. Example 4 Using a Calculator to Evaluate Expressions Use a scientific calculator to evaluate the following expressions. 4x y (a) if x 2, y 1, and z 3 z Replace x with 2, y with 1, and z with 3: 4x y z Now, use the following keystrokes: ( ) 3 The display will read 3. 7x y (b) if x 2, y 6, and z 2 3z x 7x y 3z x Use the following keystrokes: ( ) ( ) The display will read 2. CHECK YOURSELF 4 Use a scientific calculator to evaluate the following if x 2, y 6, and z 5. (a) 2x y z (b) 4y 2z x Example 5 Evaluating Expressions Evaluate 5a 4b if a 2 and b 3. Replace a with 2 and b with 3. NOTE Remember the rules for the order of operations. Multiply first, then add. 5a 4b 5( 2) 4(3) CHECK YOURSELF 5 Evaluate 3x 5y if x 2 and y 5.

4 106 CHAPTER 1 THE LANGUAGE OF ALGEBRA We follow the same rules no matter how many variables are in the expression. Example 6 Evaluating Expressions Evaluate the following expressions if a 4, b 2, c 5, and d 6. This becomes ( 20), or 20. (a) 7a 4c 7( 4) 4( 5) Evaluate the power first, then multiply by 7. CAUTION When a squared variable is replaced by a negative number, square the negative. ( 5) 2 ( 5)( 5) 25 The exponent applies to 5! 5 2 (5 5) 25 The exponent applies only to 5! (b) 7c 2 7( 5) (c) b 2 4ac 2 2 4( 4)( 5) 4 4( 4)( 5) (d) b(a d) 2( 4 6) 2(2) 4 Add inside the parentheses first. CHECK YOURSELF 6 Evaluate if p 4, q 3, and r 2. (a) 5p 3r (b) 2p 2 q (c) p(q r) (d) q 2 (e) ( q) 2 If an expression involves a fraction, remember that the fraction bar is a grouping symbol. This means that you should do the required operations first in the numerator and then the denominator. Divide as the last step. Example 7 Evaluating Expressions Evaluate the following expressions if x 4, y 5, z 2, and w 3. (a) z 2y x 2 2( 5)

5 EVALUATING ALGEBRAIC EXPRESSIONS SECTION (b) 3x w 3(4) ( 3) 2x w 2(4) ( 3) ( 3) CHECK YOURSELF 7 Evaluate if m 6, n 4, and p 3. (a) m 3n p (b) 4m n m 4n When an expression is evaluated by a calculator, the same order of operations that we introduced in Section 0.3 is followed. Algebraic Calculator Notation Notation Addition Subtraction Multiplication (3)( 5) 3 ( ) 5 or 3 5 Division Exponential 3 4 3^4 or 3 y x 4 In many applications, you will need to find the sum of a set of numbers that you are working with. In mathematics, the shorthand symbol for sum of is the Greek letter (capital sigma, the S of the Greek alphabet). The expression x, in which x refers to all the numbers in a given set, means the sum of all the numbers in that set. Example 8 Summing a Set Find x for the following set of numbers: 2, 6, 3, 5, 4 x 2 ( 6) 3 5 ( 4) ( 8) 3 5 ( 4) ( 8) 8 ( 4) 4

6 108 CHAPTER 1 THE LANGUAGE OF ALGEBRA CHECK YOURSELF 8 Find x for each set of numbers. (a) 3, 4, 7, 9, 8 (b) 2, 6, 5, 3, 4, 7 CHECK YOURSELF ANSWERS 1. (a) 1; (b) (a) 38; (b) 45; (c) (a) 10; (b) 7; (c) 7 4. (a) 2; (b) (a) 14; (b) 35; (c) 4; (d) 9; (e) 9 7. (a) 2; (b) 2 8. (a) 7; (b) 7

7 Name 1.5 Exercises Section Date Evaluate each of the expressions if a 2, b 5, c 4, and d 6. ANSWERS 1. 3c 2b 2. 4c 2b b 2c 4. 7a 2c b 2 b 6. ( b) 2 b a c 2 9. c 2 2d 10. 3a 2 4c a 2 3b b 2 2c (a b) 14. 5(b c) (2a d) 16. 6(3c d ) 17. a(b 3c) 18. c(3a d ) d c 3d 2c b 8b 5c 2b 3d 2a

8 ANSWERS b 3a c 2d 3d 2b 5a d d 2 b c 2 a (d b) (c a) (d b)(d b) 30. (c a)(c a) d 3 b c 3 a (d b) (c a) (d b)(d 2 db b 2 ) 36. (c a)(c 2 ac a 2 ) b 2 a d 2 a (b a) (d a) a 2 2ad d b 2 2bc c Use your calculator to evaluate each expression if x 2.34, y 3.14, and z Round your answer to the nearest tenth. 43. x yz 44. y 2z 45. x 2 z x 2 y 2 110

9 ANSWERS xy z x 2x y x z For the following data sets, evaluate x. y 2 zy x 2 y 2 xz , 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, , 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, , 3, 1, 2, 3, 4, , 2, 1, 5, 7, 8, , 2, 1, 4, 3, 8, , 4, 2, 1, 2, 7, , 3 4, 2, 3, 1 4, 3 2, 1 1 3, 5 3, 1, 1, 3, 2 3, , 3.2, 2.6, 1, 2, 4, , 3.1, 1.7, 3, 1, 2, In each of the following problems, decide if the given values make the statement true or false x 7 2y 5; x 22, y (x y) 6; x 5, y (x y) 2x y; x 4, y x 2 y 2 x y; x 4, y Electrical resistance. The formula for the total resistance in a parallel circuit is given by the formula R T R 1 R 2 (R 1 R 2 ). Find the total resistance if R 1 6 ohms ( ) and R Area. The formula for the area of a triangle is given by A 1 Find the area of a 2 ab. triangle if a 4 centimeters (cm) and b 8 cm. 111

10 ANSWERS Perimeter. The perimeter of a rectangle of length L and width W is given by the formula P 2L 2W. Find the perimeter when L 10 inches (in.) and W 5 in. 5" " Simple interest. The simple interest I on a principal of P dollars at interest rate r for time t, in years, is given by I Prt. Find the simple interest on a principal of \$6000 at 8 percent for 3 years. (Note: 8% 0.08) 69. Simple interest. Use the simple interest formula to find the principal if the total interest earned was \$150 and the rate of interest was 4% for 2 years. 70. Simple interest. Use the simple interest formula to find the rate of interest if \$10,000 earns \$1500 interest in 3 years. 71. Temperature conversion. The formula that relates Celsius and Fahrenheit temperature is F 9 If the temperature of the day is 10 C, what is the 5 C 32. Fahrenheit temperature? Geometry. If the area of a circle whose radius is r is given by A pr 2, where p 3.14, find the area when r 3 meters (m). 73. Write an English interpretation of each of the following algebraic expressions. (a) (2x 2 y) 3 (b) 3n n 1 (c) (2n 3)(n 4) 2 112

12 ANSWERS a. b. c. d. Getting Ready for Section 1.6 [Sections 1.3 and 1.4] (a) (8 9) 5 (b) (c) 5(4 3) 9 (d) 3(5 7) 11 (e) 6( 9 7) 4 (f) 8 7( 2 6) e. f. Answers True 63. False in. 69. \$ F a. 12 b. 0 c. 26 d. 17 e. 8 f

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