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# What is the difference between a coefﬁcient and a subscript?

A coefficient is the number being multiplied by the variable, and the subscript is used to identify different variables.

Coefficient example: Let's say we have the equation ##3x+2y##=? ##x## and ##y## are variables, and the numbers in front of them are their coefficients. So the coefficient on the ##x## variable is 3 and the coefficient on ##y## is 2.

The coefficient means that when you get a value for either ##x## or ##y## and plug them into the equation, you will multiply it by it's corresponding coefficient.

So let's say we are given ##x=1## and ##y=2## If we plug this into the equation, we will have (3 x 1) + (2 x 2) = 7

Subscript example: Let's use the same equation as above ##3x+2y=10##

Instead of using ##x## and ##y##, we can change the variables to be anything we want, like ##A## and ##B## for example. Or perhaps we can change ##x## to ##x_1## and change ##y## to ##x_2##. The one and two are subscripts attached to the variable, giving it its own identity.