# How do you use the distributive property with variables?

##### 1 Answer

May 17, 2018

See examples below

#### Explanation:

Whatever is outside of the parenthesis, we must multiply it by all terms on the inside.

Example:

In this case, we would multiply the

What if we have two sets of parenthesis?

We multiply every term in the first parenthesis by everyone in the second. We are essentially doing the distributive property twice.

This method is sometimes called FOIL, standing for Firsts, Outsides, Insides, Lasts. This is the order we multiply in. Going back to our example

- We multiply the first terms:
#2x*3x=color(lime)(6x^2)# - Outside terms:
#2x*11=color(lime)(22x)# - Inside terms:
#8*3x=color(lime)(24x)# - Last terms:
#8*11=color(lime)(88)#

Now we have

Hope this helps!