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The distributive property states that when you multiply a number by a sum, you can distribute the multiplication to each addend. It can be expressed as:
<math xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/1998/Math/MathML”><semantics><mrow><mi>a</mi><mo stretchy=”false”>(</mo><mi>b</mi><mo>+</mo><mi>c</mi><mo stretchy=”false”>)</mo><mo>=</mo><mi>a</mi><mi>b</mi><mo>+</mo><mi>a</mi><mi>c</mi></mrow><annotation encoding=”application/xtex”>a(b + c) = ab + ac</annotation></semantics></math>a(b+c)=ab+ac
This means you multiply <math xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/1998/Math/MathML”><semantics><mrow><mi>a</mi></mrow><annotation encoding=”application/xtex”>a</annotation></semantics></math>a by <math xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/1998/Math/MathML”><semantics><mrow><mi>b</mi></mrow><annotation encoding=”application/xtex”>b</annotation></semantics></math>b and then by <math xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/1998/Math/MathML”><semantics><mrow><mi>c</mi></mrow><annotation encoding=”application/xtex”>c</annotation></semantics></math>c, and then add the two products together.