## Algebra## Algebra Explained |

## What is a coefficient? |

In an algebraic equation, a coefficient is simply a multiplicative factor. In the majority of cases, the coefficient is the numerical part (most often a constant) of the equation. Thus, it is called a numerical coefficient. For example, in 3*x* = 6, the coefficient is 3; in -3*x* = 6, the coefficient is -3, as the coefficient takes on the sign of the operation. Terms such as *xy* may not appear to have a numerical coefficient, but it is 1—a number that is not written, but assumed.

Coefficients do not have to be just numbers: In the equation 5*x*^{3}*y*, the coefficient of *x*^{3}*y* is 5. But in addition, the coefficient of *x* is 5*x*^{2}*y*, and the coefficient of *y* is 5*x*^{3}. Coefficients are also seen in functions; for example, in the function *f(x)* = 2*x*, the 2 is the coefficient.