The Distributive Property for Seventh Graders

πŸ†Practice distributive property for seventh grade

Solving algebraic equations is made easier by understanding some basic rules and properties. A few examples of properties that we will learn to use in the seventh grade are: the distributive, associative and commutative properties. These properties get learned and relearned throughout our time in school, each time adding new layers to or understanding. Today we will focus on the distributive property. We will go into depth on what it is and how to use it, and we will briefly get to know the associative and commutative properties as well.

What is the distributive property?

The distributive property is a method to simplify multiplication and division exercises. Essentially, it breaks down expressions into smaller, easier to manage terms.

Let's see some examples:

  • 6Γ—26=6Γ—(20+6)=120+36=1566 \times 26 = 6 \times (20 + 6) = 120 + 36 = 156
  • 7Γ—32=7Γ—(30+2)=210+14=2247 \times 32 = 7 \times (30 + 2) = 210 + 14 = 224
  • 104:4=(100+4):4=100:4+4:4=25+1=26104:4 = (100+4):4 = 100:4 + 4:4 = 25+1 = 26
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Test yourself on distributive property for seventh grade!

einstein

Solve the exercise:

84:4=

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If we look at the following examples, we can see that we have broken down the larger number into several smaller numbers that are more manageable. The value is the same as before, but now we can distribute a complex operation into several easy operations.

The distributive property can be described as:

ZΓ—(X+Y)=ZX+ZYZ \times (X + Y) = ZX + ZY

ZΓ—(Xβˆ’Y)=ZXβˆ’ZYZ \times (X - Y) = ZX - ZY


The distributive property

Sometimes, an expression will require us to perform both addition and subtraction within our parentheses. Not to worry! The distributive property can simplify these expressions too.

Let's see some examples:

  • (X+2)Γ—(X+3)=(X + 2) \times (X + 3) =
    X2+3X+2X+6=X2+5X+6XΒ² + 3X + 2X + 6 = XΒ² + 5X + 6
  • (Xβˆ’4)Γ—(Xβˆ’3)=(X - 4) \times (X - 3) =
    X2βˆ’3Xβˆ’4X+12=X2βˆ’7X+12XΒ² - 3X - 4X + 12 = XΒ² - 7X + 12

How would you go about using the distributive property in an equation with two sets of parentheses?

First, we multiply the first term of the first parenthesis by the first and second terms of the second parenthesis..

Next, we multiply the second term of the first parenthesis and multiply it by the first and second terms of the second parenthesis.

Remember to place the addition and subtraction signs in the correct places.

Another way to describe the distributive property:

(Z+T)Γ—(X+Y)=ZX+ZY+TX+TY(Z + T) \times (X + Y) = ZX + ZY + TX + TY

(Zβˆ’T)Γ—(Xβˆ’Y)=ZXβˆ’ZYβˆ’TX+TY(Z - T) \times (X - Y) = ZX - ZY - TX + TY


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The distributive property in elementary school

When first learning about the distributive property, we practice only with known whole numbers (without variables or fractions) in order to understand the idea of breaking down a larger number into smaller numbers. In this first stage, we use the distributive property mainly to simplify calculation, especially with large numbers.

For example:

3Γ—102=3Γ—(100+2)=300+6=306 3\times 102=3\times(100+2)=300+6=306

7Γ—96=7Γ—(100βˆ’4)=700βˆ’28=672 7\times 96=7\times(100-4)=700-28=672

By this point, most students have already mastered long addition and subtraction, but they might have less experience multiplying large numbers. The distributive property helps them to solve these problems by reducing into simpler multiplications equations.


The distributive property in middle school

In middle school, the distributive property gets more interesting. Now, we will start to use not just whole numbers, but variables and exponents too!

For example:

  • (X+5)Γ—(X+6)=(X + 5) \times (X + 6) =
    X2+6X+5X+30=X2+11X+30XΒ² + 6X + 5X+ 30 = XΒ² + 11X + 30
  • (Xβˆ’7)Γ—(Xβˆ’8)=(X- 7) \times (X- 8) =
    X2βˆ’8Xβˆ’7X+56=X2βˆ’15X+56XΒ² - 8X - 7X + 56 = XΒ² - 15X + 56

Do you know what the answer is?

Other properties

As we mentioned earlier, there are other rules and properties out there that help us to simplify algebraic expressions. In this section we will briefly look at two of them: the associative property and the commutative property.


The associative property

The associative property allows us to group several terms of an equation together without changing the final results, by moving the parentheses. However, we can only use this property to solve addition or multiplication exercises.

For example:

  • (10+2)+8=(10 + 2) + 8 =
    10+(2+8)=10+2+8=2010 + (2 + 8) = 10 + 2 + 8 = 20
  • 2Γ—(3Γ—6)=2 \times (3 \times 6) =
    (2Γ—3)Γ—6=2Γ—3Γ—6=36(2 \times 3) \times 6 = 2 \times 3 \times 6 = 36

To learn more about the associative property, you can read the following: The Associative Property.

Check your understanding

The commutative property

The commutative property allows us to change the order of the terms in an equation without changing the outcome of the equation. Like the associative property, the commutative property can only be used for addition and multiplication.

Let us look at some examples:

  • 2+6=6+2=8 2 + 6 = 6 + 2 = 8
  • 3Γ—4=4Γ—3=123 \times 4 = 4 \times 3 = 12

To learn more about the commutative property, you can read the following: The Commutative Property.

Example exercises for seventh graders

Exercise 1

Task:

Using the distributive property, solve the following:

  • 294:3= 294:3=
  • 105Γ—4= 105\times 4=
  • 505:5= 505:5=
  • 207Γ—5= 207\times 5=
  • 168:8= 168:8=

Solutions:

  • 294:3=(300βˆ’6):3=300:3βˆ’6:3=100βˆ’2=98 294:3=(300-6):3=300:3-6:3=100-2=98
  • 105Γ—4=(100+5)Γ—4=100Γ—4+5Γ—4=400+20=420 105\times 4=(100+5)\times 4=100\times 4+5\times 4=400+20=420
  • 505:5=(500+5):5=500:5+5:5=100+1=101 505:5=(500+5):5=500:5+5:5=100+1=101
  • 207Γ—5=(200+7)Γ—5=200Γ—5+7Γ—5=1000+35=1035 207\times 5=(200+7)\times 5=200\times 5+7\times 5=1000+35=1035
  • 168:8=(160+8):8=160:8+8:8=20+1=21 168:8=(160+8):8=160:8+8:8=20+1=21

Do you think you will be able to solve it?

Exercise 2

Task:

Three hundred fifty-one students from a high school were divided into nine equal groups.

How many students are in each group?

Solve the problem using the distributive property.

Solution:

We begin by expressing the problem numerically:

351:9=(360βˆ’9):9=360:9βˆ’9:9=40βˆ’1=39 351:9=(360-9):9=360:9-9:9=40-1=39

Answer:

There are 39 students in each group.


Exercise 3

Task:

Dani bought 15 boxes. In each box there were 9 pieces of candy.

How many pieces of candy did Dani buy in total?

Use the distributive property to solve the problem.

Solution:

We begin by expressing the problem numerically:

15Γ—9=(10+5)Γ—9=10Γ—9+5Γ—9=90+45=135 15\times9=(10+5)\times9=10\times9+5\times9=90+45=135

Answer:

Dani bought 135 pieces of candy.


Test your knowledge

Exercise 4

Task:

Isabel has packed 246 notebooks into 6 equal packages.

How many notebooks has Isabel put in each package?

Use the distributive property to solve the problem.

Solution:

We begin by expressing the problem numerically:

246:6=(240+6):6=240:6+6:6=40+1=41 246:6=(240+6):6=240:6+6:6=40+1=41

Answer:

Isabel has put 41 notebooks in each packet.


Exercise 5

Task:

A mother had 894 euros. She divided the money equally among her three children.

How much money did each child receive?

Use the distributive property to solve the problem.

Solution:

We begin by expressing the problem numerically:

894:3=(900βˆ’6):3=900:3βˆ’6:3=300βˆ’2=298 894:3=(900-6):3=900:3-6:3=300-2=298

Answer:

Each child received 298 euros.


Do you know what the answer is?

Exercise 6

Task:

Solve the following:

93:3=? 93:3=\text{?}

Solution:

We simplify the number 93 into 4 smaller numers to make it easier for us to divide it by 3.

For example 30:3=10 30:3=10

93:3=? 93:3=\text{?}

(30+30+30+3):3= (30+30+30+3):3=

+30:3=10 +30:3=10

+30:3=10 +30:3=10

+30:3=10 +30:3=10

+3:3=1 +3:3=1

Then we will add the results and we will get:

93:3=31 93:3=31

Answer:

31 31


Exercise 7

Task:

Solve the following:

=90:5 =90:5

Solution:

We simplify the number 90 into 3 smaller numbers:

(50,20,20)

90=5βˆ’+20+20 90=5-+20+20

Then we divide each of them by 5 and add the three results.

+50:5=10 +50:5=10

+20:5=4 +20:5=4

+20:5=4 +20:5=4

Which gives us:

90:5=10+4+4=18 90:5=10+4+4=18

Answer:

1818


Check your understanding

Exercise 8

Task:

Solve the following:

=72:18 =72:18

Solution:

We simplify the number 72 into two smaller numbers (36+36) \left(36+36\right) and then divide each of them by 18.

72:18= 72:18=

(36+36):18= (36+36):18=

+36:18=2 +36:18=2

+36:18=2 +36:18=2

72:18=4 72:18=4

4 4

Answer:

4 4


Exercise 9

Task:

Solve the following:

(40+70+35βˆ’7)Γ—9= \left(40+70+35βˆ’7\right)Γ—9=

Solution:

(40+70+35βˆ’7)Γ—9= \left(40+70+35βˆ’7\right)Γ—9=

40Γ—9+70Γ—9+35Γ—9βˆ’7Γ—9= 40\times9+70\times9+35\times9-7\times9=

=360+630+(30+5)9βˆ’63 =360+630+(30+5)9-63

=360+630+270+45βˆ’63=1242 =360+630+270+45-63=1242

Answer:

1242 1242


Do you think you will be able to solve it?

Exercise 10

Task:

Solve the following:

(35+4)Γ—(10+5)= \left(35+4\right)Γ—\left(10+5\right)=

Solution:

(35+4)(10+5)=35Γ—10+35Γ—5+4Γ—10+4Γ—5(35+4)(10+5)=35\times10+35\times5+4\times10+4\times5

=350+175+40+20=585 =350+175+40+20=585

Answer:

585 585


Exercise 11

Task:

Solve the following:

(7x+3)Γ—(10+4)= \left(7x+3\right)Γ—\left(10+4\right)=

Solution:

(7X+3)(10+4)=7XΓ—10+7XΓ—4+3Γ—10+3Γ—4(7X+3)(10+4)=7X\times10+7X\times4+3\times10+3\times4

=70X+28X+30+12=98X+42=238 =70X+28X+30+12=98X+42=238 ,βˆ’42 -42

98X=196 98X=196 ,:98 :98

X=19698=2 X=\frac{196}{98}=2

Answer:

2 2


Test your knowledge

More practice

  • 187Γ—(8βˆ’5)=187\times (8-5)=
  • 23Γ—(12+0βˆ’5)={2\over3}\times (12+0-5)=
  • 5Γ—(212+116+34)=5\times (2{1\over2}+1{1\over6}+{3\over4})=
  • (10+5+18)Γ—4=(10+5+18)\times 4=
  • (5.5βˆ’0.8)Γ—5=(5.5-0.8)\times 5=
  • 340:(12βˆ’7)=340:(12-7)=
  • (29βˆ’4):5=(29-4):5=
  • 51:(6+1βˆ’5)={5\over1}:(6+1-5)=
  • 18:(5+7+4)=18:(5+7+4)=
  • (17βˆ’13):4=({1\over7}-{1\over3}):4=
  • 97Γ—12=97\times 12=
  • 3Γ—36=3\times 36=
  • 120:97=120:97=
  • 8:12=8:{1\over2}=
  • 151Γ—23=151\times 23=

FAQs about the distributive property

What is the distributive property?

The distributive property is a method used to simplify expressions into smaller, more manageable pieces.

How is the distributive property used?

In an equation, we use the distributive property to break down a large number into two or more smaller numbers (using addition and subtraction), and then by distributing the multiplication.

Example

  • 20Γ—8Γ—7=20+8Γ—7=20Γ—7+8Γ—7=140+56=196 20 \times 8\times 7=20+8\times 7=20\times 7+8\times 7=140+56=196

Can we use the distributive property in division?

Of course we can! In an expression with division, we break down the numerator into smaller numbers (using addition and subtraction), and then the division is distributed.

Example

  • 150:6=120+30:6=120:6+30:6=20+5=25 150:6=120+30:6=120:6+30:6=20+5=25

Do you know what the answer is?
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