**SfC Home > Arithmetic > Algebra >**

# Algebra of Objects

by Ron Kurtus (25 December 2015)

In * Algebra*, an alphabetical letter can represent an

*, number, or group of numbers. When the letter represents an object, algebraic rules are limited.*

**object**You can add, subtract, multiply, or divide an object by a number. You are limited in adding or subtracting different objects. You cannot multiply or divide different objects together.

Questions you may have include:

- What happens when dealing with a single object?
- What happens when dealing with several objects?
- What happens when multiplying or dividing objects?

This lesson will answer those questions.

## Dealing with one object

Let the letter "**a**" represent an apple. Then **2a** represents two apples. Likewise, **2a + 3a** represents two apples plus three apples. The sum equals five apples.

You can also subtract apples: **6a − 4a = 2a**.

But you cannot have a negative object. The result of **4a − 6a** is not **−2a**, that that is meaningless.

You can multiply or divide an object by a number: **5 * 2a = 10a**.

You can have a fraction of an apple: **½a** is one half an apple.

## Dealing with two or more objects

If "**a**" represents an apple and "**b**" represents a banana, adding and subtracting is limited to the object type.

For example: **3a + 2b − 2a + b** equals or results in **a + 3b**. You can only add or subtract the same type of object.

You can multiply or divide several objects by a number: **5(2a +3b) = 10a + 15b**.

## Multiplying or dividing objects together

You cannot multiply or divide objects by each other. **2a * 3a** is meaningless, since apple times apple has no real value.

## Summary

When an alphabetical letter represents an object, algebraic rules are limited. You can add, subtract, multiply, or divide an object by a number. You are limited in adding or subtracting different objects. You cannot multiply or divide different objects together.

Strive to be excellent

## Resources and references

### Websites

### Books

## Questions and comments

If you have questions, comments, or opinions on this subject, send an email with your feedback. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.

## Share

Click on a button to bookmark or share this page through Twitter, Facebook, email, or other services:

## Students and researchers

The Web address of this page is:

**www.school-for-champions.com/algebra/
objects.htm**

Please include it as a link on your website or as a reference in your report, document, or thesis.

## Where are you now?

## Algebra of Objects