Removing and Inserting Brackets
The distributive law is used when removing brackets. It is summarised by the identity below:
(a + b) c = a x c + b x c
The distributive law basically states that when removing a bracket, use the term outside the bracket to multiply each term in the bracket.
The distributive law is also used to insert brackets. However, when inserting brackets, the law is used in reverse.
The distributive law in reverse is a means of factorizing. Factorization is the breakdown of numbers into factors, which when multiplied yields the original numbers.
When factorizing using the distributive law, follow the steps below.
Step 1: Write the variables and coefficients (if any) common to all the terms outside the brackets.
Step 2: Divide each term by the term placed outside the brackets in step 1, placing the quotient of the divisions inside the brackets.