How Do You Subtract Polynomials?


Quick Answer

Subtracting two polynomials is a two-step process that starts by applying the negative sign across each term in the second polynomial. The second step combines like terms to yield a simplified polynomial.

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Full Answer

Subtracting one polynomial from another is essentially the same as adding the second polynomial to the first after each term's sign has been reversed. Given the hypothetical problem (4c + 5) - (6c - 7), begin by modifying the signs of the second polynomial, generating an intermediate step of (4c + 5) + (-6c + 7). Combine the like terms, giving a final answer of -2c + 12. Even with more complex polynomials that contain three or more terms, the overall process is similar.

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