In an earlier chapter, you explored the distributive property of numbers. As a refresher, here is an example of the applications of the principle of distribution to a multiplication problem:
4(5 + 3) = 4(5) + 4(3) = 20 + 12 = 32
4(5 – 3) = 4(5) – 4(3) = 20 – 12 = 8
To perform the distributions, you begin by evaluating the terms in parentheses in relation to the numbers that are applied to them. You can then rearrange the terms so that you preserve the operators that characterize the relations between them. You can rearrange the terms because 4 constitutes a number that is common to each term. You distribute the multiplication activities of 4 so that you apply them separately to the numbers within the parentheses.
When you factor ...