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What is the middle term of a quadratic equation?

A quadratic equation, when written in the standard form, has three terms.
  • The first term is the term containing x squared in it. Example, 2x^2
  • The second term is the term containing a single x in it. Example, 2x
  • The third term is a number. Example, 2.
The quadratic equation with the above three terms would be 2x^2 + 2x + 2 = 0

Therefore the middle term of a quadratic equation is the term having a single x in it. It is the term in which the variable coefficient is x. The exponent on the variable in the middle term of a quadratic equation is 1.

The middle term is very important as it is split into two terms when factoring a quadratic equation by the method of splitting the middle term.

For example, the middle term of the following quadratic equations are:

  • 2x^2 + 3x + 8 = 0; middle term is 3x
  • 4x^2 - 5x + 6 = 0; middle term is -5x
  • x^2 - 9 = 0; there is no middle term

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