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LostInParadise's avatar

Were you taught to do vertical multiplication of algebraic expressions?

Asked by LostInParadise (28177points) November 25th, 2009

I never did this when I went to school, but I thought of it recently to help in doing tutoring. I am certainly not the first to come up with this idea Link
It is so much easier to do things this way and much less prone to error. I don’t see why this way is not taught everywhere.

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6 Answers

Justnice's avatar

I was never taught to do this and I must say it looks a lot easier then doing it horizontally. I’m actually in school now studying to be a math teacher and I haven’t seen this in college yet

Haleth's avatar

That does look easy, but the FOIL method really isn’t too bad.

DominicX's avatar

We were taught that as an optional alternative way to do it, but we always focused on the FOIL way and personally, I never found the FOIL way to be terribly difficult.

Also, they make first one look harder by writing out a few steps that aren’t necessary. On the first one, steps 2–4 can be done in your head (for the most part—I would never write out step 4, though; there’s no need to rearrange it like that), whereas the second method requires you to write it out every time.

Christian95's avatar

The vertical multiplication is used by starters in every math calculation not only in algebraic expressions.But after a period of time you get used with it and you start to use ,,FOIL,, mode.

malcolm.knapp's avatar

The same calculations are done in both systems just the display is different. In FOIL the operations are done horizontally and in vertical the operations are done, well, vertically. I would say use which ever is easier for you to understand.

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