Since it can represent different numbers at different times and will not always represent the same number, it is called a variable.
A variable with a zero power equals 1.
xº = 1
When a number is written without a variable, the invisible variable has a zero power.
So 8 is the same as 8xº which is the same as 8 x 1.
Variables written without a visible exponent are understood to have the exponent of 1.
x = x¹
This does not equal 1 unless the variable is equal to 1.
The value of this term, or monomial, is whatever the value of x is.
If x = 7, then x¹ will equal 7.
Watch these videos first:
Embedding on these videos was disabled, so you'll need to click on the links to view.
►Degrees and Types of Polynomials, part 1 , part 2
►Degree of a polynomial if the terms have more than one variable.
A little more advanced in this video, but very well explained.
►Interactive lessons -- may be best to do after viewing the videos here.
Click Unit 5, Lesson 22, Play Lesson, Introduction to Polynomials.
You may read along with the lesson in the left sidebar.
Note: Lesson does not seem to work in Safari browser.