the question marks are the blanks I need to fill in with a number
I read the problem as _____*(3.8) = 9*(4) - 9*(_____)
Essentially you want the right side to look like the left side. Hence a number *(number).
The first step is to use the distributive property.
Since you have a 9 in both terms, you can factor the 9 out, so it looks like 9*(4 - ____)
You then have ____ * (3.8) = 9*(4 - ____)
Does this help you fill in the blanks, or do you need the next steps?