Skip to ContentGo to accessibility page
Elementary Algebra 2e

# 9.3Add and Subtract Square Roots

Elementary Algebra 2e9.3 Add and Subtract Square Roots

### Learning Objectives

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

• Add and subtract like square roots
• Add and subtract square roots that need simplification
Be Prepared 9.7

Before you get started, take this readiness quiz.

Add: $3x+9x3x+9x$ $5m+5n5m+5n$.
If you missed this problem, review Example 1.24.

Be Prepared 9.8

Simplify: $50x350x3$.
If you missed this problem, review Example 9.16.

We know that we must follow the order of operations to simplify expressions with square roots. The radical is a grouping symbol, so we work inside the radical first. We simplify $2+72+7$ in this way:

$2+7Add inside the radical.9Simplify.32+7Add inside the radical.9Simplify.3$

So if we have to add $2+72+7$, we must not combine them into one radical.

$2+7≠2+72+7≠2+7$

Trying to add square roots with different radicands is like trying to add unlike terms.

$But, just like we can addx+x,we can add3+3.x+x=2x3+3=23But, just like we can addx+x,we can add3+3.x+x=2x3+3=23$

Adding square roots with the same radicand is just like adding like terms. We call square roots with the same radicand like square roots to remind us they work the same as like terms.

### Like Square Roots

Square roots with the same radicand are called like square roots.

We add and subtract like square roots in the same way we add and subtract like terms. We know that $3x+8x3x+8x$ is $11x11x$. Similarly we add $3x+8x3x+8x$ and the result is $11x.11x.$

### Add and Subtract Like Square Roots

Think about adding like terms with variables as you do the next few examples. When you have like radicands, you just add or subtract the coefficients. When the radicands are not like, you cannot combine the terms.

### Example 9.29

Simplify: $22−7222−72$.

Try It 9.57

Simplify: $82−9282−92$.

Try It 9.58

Simplify: $53−9353−93$.

### Example 9.30

Simplify: $3y+4y3y+4y$.

Try It 9.59

Simplify: $2x+7x2x+7x$.

Try It 9.60

Simplify: $5u+3u5u+3u$.

### Example 9.31

Simplify: $4x−2y4x−2y$.

Try It 9.61

Simplify: $7p−6q7p−6q$.

Try It 9.62

Simplify: $6a−3b6a−3b$.

### Example 9.32

Simplify: $513+413+213513+413+213$.

Try It 9.63

Simplify: $411+211+311411+211+311$.

Try It 9.64

Simplify: $610+210+310610+210+310$.

### Example 9.33

Simplify: $26−66+3326−66+33$.

Try It 9.65

Simplify: $55−45+2655−45+26$.

Try It 9.66

Simplify: $37−87+2537−87+25$.

### Example 9.34

Simplify: $25n−65n+45n25n−65n+45n$.

Try It 9.67

Simplify: $7x−77x+47x7x−77x+47x$.

Try It 9.68

Simplify: $43y−73y+23y43y−73y+23y$.

When radicals contain more than one variable, as long as all the variables and their exponents are identical, the radicals are like.

### Example 9.35

Simplify: $3xy+53xy−43xy3xy+53xy−43xy$.

Try It 9.69

Simplify: $5xy+45xy−75xy5xy+45xy−75xy$.

Try It 9.70

Simplify: $37mn+7mn−47mn37mn+7mn−47mn$.

### Add and Subtract Square Roots that Need Simplification

Remember that we always simplify square roots by removing the largest perfect-square factor. Sometimes when we have to add or subtract square roots that do not appear to have like radicals, we find like radicals after simplifying the square roots.

### Example 9.36

Simplify: $20+3520+35$.

Try It 9.71

Simplify: $18+6218+62$.

Try It 9.72

Simplify: $27+4327+43$.

### Example 9.37

Simplify: $48−7548−75$.

Try It 9.73

Simplify: $32−1832−18$.

Try It 9.74

Simplify: $20−4520−45$.

Just like we use the Associative Property of Multiplication to simplify $5(3x)5(3x)$ and get $15x15x$, we can simplify $5(3x)5(3x)$ and get $15x15x$. We will use the Associative Property to do this in the next example.

### Example 9.38

Simplify: $518−28518−28$.

Try It 9.75

Simplify: $427−312427−312$.

Try It 9.76

Simplify: $320−745320−745$.

### Example 9.39

Simplify: $34192−5610834192−56108$.

Try It 9.77

Simplify: $23108−5714723108−57147$.

Try It 9.78

Simplify: $35200−3412835200−34128$.

### Example 9.40

Simplify: $2348−34122348−3412$.

Try It 9.79

Simplify: $2532−1382532−138$.

Try It 9.80

Simplify: $1380−141251380−14125$.

In the next example, we will remove constant and variable factors from the square roots.

### Example 9.41

Simplify: $18n5−32n518n5−32n5$.

Try It 9.81

Simplify: $32m7−50m732m7−50m7$.

Try It 9.82

Simplify: $27p3−48p327p3−48p3$.

### Example 9.42

Simplify: $950m2−648m2950m2−648m2$.

Try It 9.83

Simplify: $532x2−348x2532x2−348x2$.

Try It 9.84

Simplify: $748y2−472y2748y2−472y2$.

### Example 9.43

Simplify: $28x2−5x32+518x228x2−5x32+518x2$.

Try It 9.85

Simplify: $312x2−2x48+427x2312x2−2x48+427x2$.

Try It 9.86

Simplify: $318x2−6x32+250x2318x2−6x32+250x2$.

### Media Access Additional Online Resources

Access this online resource for additional instruction and practice with the adding and subtracting square roots.

### Section 9.3 Exercises

#### Practice Makes Perfect

Add and Subtract Like Square Roots

In the following exercises, simplify.

145.

$82−5282−52$

146.

$72−3272−32$

147.

$35+6535+65$

148.

$45+8545+85$

149.

$97−10797−107$

150.

$117−127117−127$

151.

$7y+2y7y+2y$

152.

$9n+3n9n+3n$

153.

$a−4aa−4a$

154.

$b−6bb−6b$

155.

$5c+2c5c+2c$

156.

$7d+2d7d+2d$

157.

$8a−2b8a−2b$

158.

$5c−3d5c−3d$

159.

$5m+n5m+n$

160.

$n+3pn+3p$

161.

$87+27+3787+27+37$

162.

$65+35+565+35+5$

163.

$311+211−811311+211−811$

164.

$215+515−915215+515−915$

165.

$33−83+7533−83+75$

166.

$57−87+6357−87+63$

167.

$62+22−3562+22−35$

168.

$75+5−81075+5−810$

169.

$32a−42a+52a32a−42a+52a$

170.

$11b−511b+311b11b−511b+311b$

171.

$83c+23c−93c83c+23c−93c$

172.

$35d+85d−115d35d+85d−115d$

173.

$53ab+3ab−23ab53ab+3ab−23ab$

174.

$811cd+511cd−911cd811cd+511cd−911cd$

175.

$2pq−5pq+4pq2pq−5pq+4pq$

176.

$112rs−92rs+32rs112rs−92rs+32rs$

Add and Subtract Square Roots that Need Simplification

In the following exercises, simplify.

177.

$50+4250+42$

178.

$48+2348+23$

179.

$80−3580−35$

180.

$28−4728−47$

181.

$27−7527−75$

182.

$72−9872−98$

183.

$48+2748+27$

184.

$45+8045+80$

185.

$250−372250−372$

186.

$398−128398−128$

187.

$212+348212+348$

188.

$475+2108475+2108$

189.

$2372+15502372+1550$

190.

$2575+34482575+3448$

191.

$1220−23451220−2345$

192.

$2354−34962354−3496$

193.

$1627−38481627−3848$

194.

$1832−110501832−11050$

195.

$1498−131281498−13128$

196.

$1324+14541324+1454$

197.

$72a5−50a572a5−50a5$

198.

$48b5−75b548b5−75b5$

199.

$80c7−20c780c7−20c7$

200.

$96d9−24d996d9−24d9$

201.

$980p4−698p4980p4−698p4$

202.

$872q6−375q6872q6−375q6$

203.

$250r8+454r8250r8+454r8$

204.

$527s6+220s6527s6+220s6$

205.

$320x2−445x2+5x80320x2−445x2+5x80$

206.

$228x2−63x2+6x7228x2−63x2+6x7$

207.

$3128y2+4y162−898y23128y2+4y162−898y2$

208.

$375y2+8y48−300y2375y2+8y48−300y2$

Mixed Practice

209.

$28+68−5828+68−58$

210.

$2327+34482327+3448$

211.

$175k4−63k4175k4−63k4$

212.

$56162+31612856162+316128$

213.

$2363−23002363−2300$

214.

$150+46150+46$

215.

$92−8292−82$

216.

$5x−8y5x−8y$

217.

$813−413−313813−413−313$

218.

$512c4−327c6512c4−327c6$

219.

$80a5−45a580a5−45a5$

220.

$3575−14483575−1448$

221.

$2119−2192119−219$

222.

$500+405500+405$

223.

$5627+58485627+5848$

224.

$1111−10111111−1011$

225.

$75−10875−108$

226.

$298−472298−472$

227.

$424x2−54x2+3x6424x2−54x2+3x6$

228.

$880y6−648y6880y6−648y6$

#### Everyday Math

229.

A decorator decides to use square tiles as an accent strip in the design of a new shower, but she wants to rotate the tiles to look like diamonds. She will use 9 large tiles that measure 8 inches on a side and 8 small tiles that measure 2 inches on a side. Determine the width of the accent strip by simplifying the expression $9(82)+8(22)9(82)+8(22)$. (Round to the nearest tenth of an inch.)

230.

Suzy wants to use square tiles on the border of a spa she is installing in her backyard. She will use large tiles that have area of 12 square inches, medium tiles that have area of 8 square inches, and small tiles that have area of 4 square inches. Once section of the border will require 4 large tiles, 8 medium tiles, and 10 small tiles to cover the width of the wall. Simplify the expression $412+88+104412+88+104$ to determine the width of the wall. (Round to the nearest tenth of an inch.)

#### Writing Exercises

231.

Explain the difference between like radicals and unlike radicals. Make sure your answer makes sense for radicals containing both numbers and variables.

232.

Explain the process for determining whether two radicals are like or unlike. Make sure your answer makes sense for radicals containing both numbers and variables.

#### Self Check

After completing the exercises, use this checklist to evaluate your mastery of the objectives of this section. What does this checklist tell you about your mastery of this section? What steps will you take to improve?

Order a print copy

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Citation/Attribution

Want to cite, share, or modify this book? This book is Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 and you must attribute OpenStax.

Attribution information
• If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a print format, then you must include on every physical page the following attribution:
Access for free at https://openstax.org/books/elementary-algebra-2e/pages/1-introduction
• If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a digital format, then you must include on every digital page view the following attribution:
Access for free at https://openstax.org/books/elementary-algebra-2e/pages/1-introduction
Citation information

© Jan 22, 2021 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 license. The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.