I know x=-5 but how did i get that answer

## 17x=-85 x=-5 how did i get this answer

# 3 Answers

When you're solving an equation for a variable (in this case **x**) you are trying to get
**x** on one side of the equal sign all by itself. To do that, you do the
*opposite of what is being done to it* (so that you can get the number in front of the
**x** to equal **1**). So when you have:

`17 `

**x** = -85

**x** is multiplied by **17** -- to get rid of that **
17**, we have to divide by **17** on *both sides of the equation*. You have to do it on both sides of the equation to keep the equation balanced.

`17 x `

* ÷ 17* = -85

**÷ 17**On the left side of the equation the **17**s get canceled out (specifically because
**17/17 = 1**), so what you're left with is:

`x = -85 ÷ 17`

That you can punch into a calculator to get

`x = -5`

Remember, if you do the same thing to both sides of a true equation, you get a true equation. In this case we can divide both sides by 17:

17x/17 = -85/17

x = -5

Done.

One last addition to both of these perfect answers: Dividing both sides of the equation by 17 is referred to as the "inverse operation" of the equation's current multiplication of 17x.

## Comments

Excellent answer.

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