In order to combine like terms, you need to look at the variables. Terms can only be combined if the variables are all identical. The first thing that you would have to do is look for matching variables. In the example, x + 2x5 + y2 - 9x - 2x5 + 5y2, you should try to see which ones match. Then, group them together. Match the x's with the x's and the y's with y's. Therefore x - 9x = - 8x. 2x5 - 2x5 = 0. Y2 + 5y2 = 6y2. When you bring them all together, you get 8x + 0 + 6y2 or 8x + 6y2. Always remember to group like with like variables.