6x⁴  3x  2x⁴ + 2x
= 4x⁴  x Why does it not equal 4x⁴  5x ? Trying to help my son who thinks the  before the 3x is a minus sign not a negative sign. So why do I simplify this part as 3x + 2x = x, he thinks it should be 3x + 2x = 5x, which is subtracted from the 4x⁴.
Whether it is considered a negative sign or a minus sign all depends on how it is used in the given situation.
In this case, you are to combine the like terms....3x and 2x.....just think “the sign in front of the term goes with it, when combining like terms” 6x⁴  3x  2x⁴ + 2x = 4x⁴  x {combined 6x⁴ with 2x⁴ to make 4x⁴ , and combined 3x with 2x to make x} Interesting, that he didn’t think it was 6x⁴ + 2x⁴, probably because the 6x⁴ was the leading term when combining, and the 2x⁴ came after it. The sign in front of the term goes with the term! Ask the House
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