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 Question from Eric, a student: I was wondering what xy means. My two things I think it means are the two digits of x and y or x times y. thanks for your time, Eric

Hi Eric,

In algebra we usually use a single letter as a variable and when we want to multiply two variables, such as $x \times y,$ we shorten the notation by just writing $xy$ to mean $x \times y.$ Similarly $3x$ is short for $3 \times x.$

Penny

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