Hello, starslacker!
(1) axaxaxaxbxbxbxbxb = ?
(2) 2xax3xax4xa = ?
I assume those x's are multiplication signs.
You must be new to Algebra; we never use for multiplication
. . because we also use quite often.
(1) It can be written: . or
. . It can even be written: .
. . Look at what we have: .
. . This can be written: .
(2) We have: .