To simplify an algebraic you must make the expression so that it cannot be changed anymore and no like terms remain. For example if we are simplifying –17 – t – (t + 3) we first make it all addition. The expression is now -17+(-t)+(-(t+3)). First, you look for like terms. The like terms are -t, and since the expression in parentheses is now negative, the t is also now negative which means another like term is -t. Now we have -2t. Then we add the numbers like normal. The answer is now -20-2t or -20+(-2t).