Factors of Algebraic Expressions

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In worksheet 1.2 we talked about factors of whole numbers. Remember, if ab = ab then a is a factor of ab and b is a factor of ab. In a similar way we can look at the factors of an algebraic expression. So, for instance, 3uv has factors 1; 3; u; v and combinations of these like 3u; 3v; uv and of course 3uv.

The highest common factor is, as was the case with numbers, the biggest or largest factor that divides two expressions. So the highest common factor of 3uv and 6u (from example 1(a)) is 3u; the highest common factor of 2xy and 4xyz (from example 1(b)) is 2xy. As with whole numbers we can also nd the smallest algebraic expression that is a multiple of two expressions. This is called the lowest common multiple. Download free Factors of Algebraic Expressions.pdf here

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