What is algebra in maths? Algebra is a branch of mathematics in which letters or symbols are used to represent unknown numbers and/or used in addition to known numbers that are used in arithmetic.
These letters or symbols usually represent unknown numbers and are called variables.
For example, if you write 2 + 4 = 6, you are dealing with arithmetic because no letters or symbols are used in the equation.
However, if you write x + 4 = 6, you are now dealing with algebra since the letter x is used in the equation.
Notice that the letter x represents an unknown number in x + 4 = 6.
The following two equations deal with arithmetic.
1. 8 + 5 = 13
2. 8 - 5 = 2
However, if you replace 8 and 5 with unknown numbers, you are dealing with algebra.
1. x + y = 13
2. x - y = 2
Algebra is therefore an extension of arithmetic dealing with unknown numbers that are called variables.
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