# Algebraic expression question

I will use this expression as an example:

-2x + 7y - 5

Now, I know that this expression literally means " negative 2x plus 7y minus 5".

But, I prefer to look an expression like this as simply the sum of 3 terms. The terms are: -2x, 7y, and -5.

So, I prefer to deal with the expression more like -2x + 7y + (-5)

Is this proper?

mathman
It is proper, but what's the point?

HallsofIvy
Homework Helper
There are many different ways of looking at any "expression"- mathematics or not.

CRGreathouse
Homework Helper
That is proper and sometimes useful. Looking at the same thing different waysis a good skill to have for math.

Its proper as long as it doesn't change the value.

It is proper, but what's the point? I agree with mathman, it's right but you're just complicating everything. In math the best way to do it is to follow the rules or you'll just end up completely confused...

HallsofIvy
Homework Helper
It is proper, but what's the point?
Since addition is associative and subtraction is not, many algebraist do not look upon subtraction as properly an operation at all- subtraction just means "add the negative". To such mathematicians, the sum
(-2x) + 7y + (-5) would be much more natural than "subtracting 5".

CRGreathouse