Bitesize has changed! We're updating subjects as fast as we can. Visit our new site to find Bitesize guides and clips - and tell us what you think!


Re-arranging symbols

Multiplying out two brackets - Higher

When we multiply out a pair of brackets, everything in the second bracket has to be multiplied by everything in the first bracket.

One way to multiply out a pair of brackets is by taking each term in the first bracket and multiplying it against the second bracket.


Multiply out these two brackets:

(x + 4) (x + 3)

  • Multiply everything in the first bracket by the second bracket:
  • x (x + 3) + 4 (x + 3)
  • = x2 + 3x + 4x + 12
  • = x2 + 7x + 12

Try the activity below.

Back to Algebra index

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.