Radical Expressions and Equations
The method used to add or subtract radical expressions is to simplify first then add like terms if there are any. The radical parts of the terms must be exactly the same before we are able to add them. (Assume all variables are positive.)
A. Add and Subtract
Often there will be different operations involved, namely, the distributive property. The point to remember is that the order of operations is to be followed here as well.
Unsimplified rational expressions may look as if they have no like terms, but first try simplifying and then check for like terms.
Simplifying is the challenge to many students. In particular, the number part gives many of them trouble. It is much easier to deal with the prime factors of the number in a radical than it is with the number itself. Tip: Create a factor tree and determine the prime factorization of all numbers before simplifying radical expressions.