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# Algebraic thinking: FAQ

## What are parentheses used for in algebraic expressions?

Parentheses help us group terms together and clarify the order of operations. For example, in the expression $2×\left(3x+1\right)$, we would first add $3x$ and $1$ together, and then multiply the sum by $2$.
Try it yourself with this exercise:

## Why do we need to translate expressions with parentheses?

Translating expressions with parentheses helps us understand what the expression is trying to communicate. For example, we might translate $2x×\left(3x+1\right)$ to "add the sum of $3x$ and $1$, then multiply $2x$ by the sum".
Try it yourself with this exercise:

## How do we create expressions with parentheses?

It's all about grouping terms together. For example, we might write $2x+3x+1$ as $2x+\left(3x+1\right)$ to show that we want to add $3x$ and $1$ together first, before adding $2x$.
Try it yourself with this exercise:

## How do we find relationships between two patterns?

To find relationships between two patterns, we look for similarities or differences. For example, we might notice that the pattern $2x+1$ always gives us an odd number, while the pattern $2x$ always gives us an even number.
Try it yourself with these exercises:

## Is algebraic thinking useful in the real world?

Absolutely! Algebraic thinking helps us understand relationships between quantities, which is useful in a wide range of fields, from engineering to finance.