Variables and Constants in Algebraic Expressions

Constant and Variable in Algebraic Expressions - Definition and Examples

Algebra is a subpart of mathematics that deals with relations, operations, and their constructions. It is one of the building blocks of mathematics, and it finds a huge variety of applications in our day-to-day life.

Algebra is one of the many various branches of Mathematics. It deals with the binary relations, operations and constructions of various mathematical functions. Algebra is an integral part of a student’s education. It helps in developing the over all understanding of other Math branches. The other branches of Math include Calculus, Arithmetic, and Geometry etc. 

The word Algebra is taken from the Arabic phrase al-jebr which means "reunion of broken parts". It is the study of multiple operations and relations, various constructions of geometric figures and the explanation and proofs of concepts such as polynomials, equations, and algebraic structures. 
 
Now, the question arises, how is Algebra different from the other branches in Math? The answer to this is the Algebraic Expressions used in Algebra. 

To know further, read on. 

What is an Algebraic Expression? 


An algebraic Expression is one or more algebraic terms used to express a concept. The basic building blocks of an Algebraic expression are variables and constants and operating symbols such as plus, minus signs. 

3x2 + 2y + 7xy + 5


Algebraic expressions are just a set of variables and constants that are separated by plus or minus signs. 

In this article, we will mainly focus on the definition and properties of constants and variables. 

Algebraic expressions can be monomial, binomial and polynomial. Given below are the definitions of the three types. 

Monomial Expression 


Algebraic Expressions having one term is known as a monomial.

7xy is an example of a monomial Expression. 

Binomial Expression 


Algebraic Expressions are usually having w=two terms are called as binomial. 

4x+6 is an example of a binomial expression. 

Polynomial Expression 


This expression generally contains more than two terms with non-negative integral components of variables is known as a Polynomial. 

ax+3y+6c=0 is an example of a polynomial expression. 

There are two types of Expressions; they are Numeric Expressions and Variable Expressions.


1. Numeric Expression consists of numbers; never include variables.

For example, 

10-2, 3*4 etc. 
 
2. Variable Expressions contain both variables and numbers to define a particular expression. 

For example, 

5x+y, 5ac-44 etc. 

What are Constants?


Constants are that part of the algebraic expression that involve only numbers. We call them constants because the value is always the same. It is definite. There are no variables in the term that can change the value of the constant. The number 8 is a constant, because it has a particular value, and it is known to everyone. It can’t be changed. In the expression 3XY – 4 = 2Y, the second term 4 is the constant. 3XY cannot be a constant because the values X and Y can be varied, and hence will vary the entire term 3XY. 

What are Variables? 


In an algebraic expression, the letters represent variables. They are not constant; the value of these terms can be changed from time to time. In the expression 2y+3x=0, the values x and y represent variables. Y can be 2,3, or any number and x can also be any number that satisfies the equation. More than one value can be substituted for the letters in an algebraic expression. 

The entire article in a nutshell 


Consider the type statement ‘4x+2y=12.’ 

What does ‘x’ and ‘y’ represent? They are quantities that can be continuously varied and can be substituted with different values. Hence, it is called a variable. It is usually an English alphabet that represents these values. A variable is a letter that signifies an unidentified. It always serves a number, but it carries varying values when written in the expression. In this expression x and y are variables. All algebraic expressions and terms consist of a minimum of one variable. It is this variable that distinguishes an algebraic expression from an arithmetic one. The variable in a mathematical expression can explain infinite possibilities to determine the value of the expression. 

 The constants over here are 4, 2 and 12. These values cannot be changed and represent a fixed mathematical expression at all times. Under no circumstances can the values be assumed differently or written differently.