If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content

Structure in expressions — Basic example

Watch Sal work through a basic Structure in expressions problem.

Want to join the conversation?

Video transcript

- [Instructor] We're asked in the equation above, b and c are constants. What is the value of b + c? And they give us the equation over here. So, pause this video and see if you can have a go at that before we work through this together. All right, now let's work through this together. And it looks like what's happening is we have a quadratic on the left and then on the right we have that same quadratic that is factored out, although they don't tell us what b and c are we have to figure that out. So, one way to tackle this is actually let me just rewrite the left-hand side of this. So, it is 2x squared + 16x + 30. And what I wanna do is try to get as close to the form that I have on the right as possible. So, it looks like they factored out a two. So, let me do that. So, this is equal to two times. And if any of this factoring of quadratics is unfamiliar to you, I encourage you to review that on Khan Academy, on The non-ACT portion of Khan Academy to get the basics. But if we factor out of two out of this first term, you're just left with an X squared. You factor out of two out of 16x, you get 8x. And you factor a two out of 30 and you get + 15. And then it looks like what they have done is they have factored this part into x + b X x + c. And the simplest way to factor things is to say, all right, are there two numbers that when I add them, I get eight, and that when I multiply them, I get 15? And those two numbers are actually going to be b and c this is one of our main factoring techniques. So, b + c needs to be equal to eight, and b X c needs to be equal to 15. And if we figure that out, then we can factor completely. Well, we've just actually answered their question, b + c needs to be equal to eight. And so, eight is the answer. Now, let me just factor this out completely, so that you can see that a little bit more completely. I'm using the word completely a lot. So, if I were to factor this out, this is the same thing as two times the two numbers that add up to eight. And when I multiply them, I get 15, let's see three and five seemed to work. So, it's gonna be two times X plus three times X plus five. You can verify that three times five you're gonna get that 15 there. And then when you multiply these two binomials, you're gonna get 3x + 5x, which is going to be 8x. And so, you can see that you can either treat b as three and c is five or b is five and c is three, but either way, b + c is going to be equal to eight.