**Multiplying Binomials**

There are numerous ways to set up the multiplication of two binomials. The first three methods shown here work for multiplying **ALL** polynomials, not just binomials. All methods, of course, give the same answer.

### **1. “Distributive” Method:**

The most universal method. Applies to all polynomial multiplications, not just to binomials.

Start with the first term in the first binomial – the circled blue X. Multiply (distribute) this term times EACH of the terms in the second binomial.

Now, take the second term in the first binomial – the circled red +3 (notice we take the sign also). Multiply this term times EACH of the terms in the second binomial.

Before we move on to the next set up method, let’s look at an example of the “distributive” method involving negative values.

**2. “Vertical” Method:**

This is a vertical “picture” of the distributive method.

This style applies to all polynomial multiplications.

**3. “Grid” Method**

This is a “table” version of the distributive method.

This style applies to all polynomial multiplications.

To multiply by the grid method, place one binomial at the top of a 2×2 grid (for binomials) and the second binomial on the side of the grid. Place the terms such that each term with its sign lines up with a row or column of the grid. Multiply the rows and columns of the grid to complete the interior of the grid. Finish by adding together the entries inside the grid.

**C A U T I O N !!!**

There are set up methods that work **ONLY** for binomials. While these set ups may be helpful to understanding binomial multiplication, you must remember that they do not extend to other types of multiplications, such as a binomial times a trinomial. You will have to go back to the “distributive method” for these other polynomial multiplications.

**4. “FOIL” Method: multiply First Outer Inner Last**

**For Binomial Multiplication ONLY!**

The words/letters used to describe the FOIL process pertain to the distributive method for multiplying two binomials. These words/letters do not apply to other multiplications such as a binomial times a trinomial.

**5. “Algebra Tile” Method**

While this method is helpful for understanding how binomials are multiplied, it is not easily applied to ALL multiplications and may not be practical for overall use.

**The example shown here is for binomial multiplication only!**

To multiply binomials using algebra tiles, place one expression at the top of the grid and the second expression on the side of the grid. You MUST maintain straight lines when you are filling in the center of the grid. The tiles needed to complete the inner grid will be your answer.

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