F First term
O Outer term
I Inner term
L last term
So
so
The best help you can receive with FOIL is to forget it and simply learn to multiply.
You have two factors: (2x-1) and (x-4)
Each factor has two terms.
(2x-1) has '2x' and '-1'
and
(x-4) has 'x' and '-4'.
Multiply each term from each factor with each term from the other factor. Keep track so you don't miss any and don't do any twice.
(2x)*(x)
(2x)*(-4)
(-1)*(x)
(-1)*(-4)
"FOIL" is a cute idea to keep track of 2x2 multiplication. If you learn to keep track yourself, you never need to think about it again.
You may understand the distribution method better, and then learn FOIL as 'cmf' suggested. FOIL is just another way to multiply binomials. Some like it, some don't. It's your choice. Here's how you would use the distributive property to achieve the same result.
Distribute the 2x and -1 from the first binomial over the second binomial, combine like terms and voila!:
Hi,
I didn't know this method FOIL ^^
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By the way, I'd suggest you doing this way... :
Imagine that
You will get
Using the basics of multiplication expanding, this is equal to :
Substituting back :
Using again this expansion :
Edit : masters of rapidity... :P