Take the example that 5 = 5

Understanding beginning algebra is that whatever you do to One side, you MUST do to the other. Notice that this is a TRUE statement, because 5 does equal 5. It must always stay true.

So if I add 3 to the right side (5 = 5 + 3) now the equation reads

(5 = 8)

But for this to stay true, the left side needs to also add 3.

(3 + 5 = 8)

Is now

(8 = 8) Which is true.

Now. With variables:

X - 4 = 10. What is X?

You want to get X by itself. So you add 4 to each side, to make that -4 a zero.

X - 4 + 4 = 10 + 4

X = 14

This is using inverse operations.

Please make sure to always check your answer. Checking consists of taking your X = 14 and plugging in 14 to your original question above:

14 - 4 = 10

14 - 4 = 10

10 = 10 True! This statement is true!

Please note that this would NOT be X + 0 = 14. X + 0 will always = X. Here we have to pretend that X is not an alphabetical letter, it's a variable, which is related to a number.

Let's try this. X = 7.

X - 10 + 5 = 1

Here, you just plug-in What is X.

So: X = 7

7 - 10 + 5 = 1

7 - 10 = -3

-3 + 5 = 2

2 = 1?

False! This statement is not true!

Google is your friend here.

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