A monomial is the simplest algebraic expression; it is formed by the product of numbers and letters or variables (with powers) .

It has two parts: the number part is called coefficient, and the letters part is called literal part.


·  -4x (-4 is the coefficient and x is the literal part)

·  3xy2z5 (3 is the coefficient and xy2z5 is the literal part)

·  4x/y isn’t a monomial

The degree of a variable is the index of its power and the degree of the monomial is the addition of the degrees of its variables.

Examples: 4x has degree 1 and 3xy2z5 has degree 8.

Two monomials are called similar or like monomials if they have the same literal part.



Exercise: Decide if the following expressions are monomials or not, and if they are monomials find their coefficients, literal parts and degrees:

a) -3xy3z9

b) πa7b9c

c) 3x + y

d) 17x/y

e) 4a11b3c2d


Solutions: a) coefficient: -3, literal part: xy3z9; degree: 13; b) coeff.: π, lit. p.: a7b9c, deg: 17; c) it isn't monomial; d) it isn't monomial;

               e) coeff.: 4, lit. p.: a11b3c2d , deg: 17

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