Lesson 2, Topic 5
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# Classifying based off the Number of Terms

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Identifying the number of terms in a polynomial is crucial in determining its classification

In this video, we will discuss how to name a polynomial based on the number of terms it has. A single term in a polynomial is called a monomial. This term could be anything, such as 3x or just 3. It could even have exponents on it, like 3x². Each of these on their own is a monomial.

When two of these monomials are combined using either an addition or subtraction sign, it becomes a two-term polynomial, which is called a binomial. For example, if we have 3x + 3, this is a binomial.

Combining three monomials with addition or subtraction results in a three-term polynomial, which is called a trinomial. For instance, if we have 3x² + 3x – 3, this is a trinomial.

Unlike degree, which has a never-ending list of names for different degrees, the number of terms in a polynomial only has three classifications: monomial, binomial, and trinomial. The prefix “mono” means one, “bi” means two, and “tri” means three. Therefore, once we reach four or more terms in a polynomial, we simply refer to it as a polynomial with four or more terms.