# What is a term?

• Apr 13th 2011, 07:49 AM
bournouli
What is a term?
a term is either a single number or variable, or the product of several numbers or variables separated from another term by a + or - sign in an overall expression. For example, in 3 + 4x + 5yzw 3, 4x, and 5yzw are all terms. -wikipedia

But it says either a single number...or the product of the several numbers.

So does that mean that 4 is a term, x is a term, and y,z,and w are also terms? In that case how does it affect things like the associative property, does it not allow for an anarchic rewriting of the original expression?
• Apr 13th 2011, 08:15 AM
Carlow52
the 5xyz etc are all terms as is the 4
the individual components of each term are either constants such as the 5 or variables like the x

if you have studied polynomials then you are familiar with the expression terms in a polynomial

However, as can be seen hereArithmetic and Geometric Sequences

a term can be a combination of elements...
• Apr 30th 2012, 07:13 AM
bournouli
Re: What is a term?
But what would make the elements of a term not terms too? Or are they terms?