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In programming, a “like term” refers to terms in a mathematical expression or equation that have the same base or variable.
For example, in the expression:
3x + 5x – 2x + 4
The “like terms” are the terms that have the same variable x, which are:
 3x
 5x
 2x
These three terms can be combined by adding their coefficients together, resulting in:
6x + 4
Combining like terms is a fundamental algebraic operation that simplifies mathematical expressions by grouping the terms with the same variable or base. This makes the expression more concise and easier to work with.
The key criteria for identifying like terms are:

They must have the same variable or base. For example, 2x and 3x are like terms, but 2x and 3y are not.

They must have the same exponent on the variable. For example, 4x^2 and 2x^2 are like terms, but 4x^2 and 2x^3 are not.
Being able to recognize and combine like terms is an important skill in algebra, calculus, and other areas of mathematics. It helps simplify complex expressions and equations, making them more manageable to work with.