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How do you solve 5x+y over 'a' =2?

How do you solve 5x+y over 'a' =2?

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The word "over" typically refers to division.  In other words, I'd read that statement as (5x+y)/a=2.  Unfortunately, that does not leave anything to "solve."  Typically, if there is more than one variable, the question will ask you to solve for one particular variable in terms of the others.  Was that all there is to the question?
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2 Answers

If this is all the information you have, then the question is asking you to reaarange the equation so that the variable "a" is by itself. If we knew that x and y were, then we would get an actual number. So to start we have your equation:
 
5x + y
--------- = 2      
    a                  
 
And we need to get "a" alone. The first step is to get it out of the denomenator by multiplying by 2. When we are working on problems like this what we do to one side must be done to the other. Therefore
 
        5x+y
a * ---------- = 2 * a    becomes 5x+y = 2a.
           a
 
We need to get "a" alone so just divide both sides by 2 so
            
 
 5x+y        2a                              5x+y
-------- =  -----   becomes      a = --------  
    2            2                                 2      
 
which is as far as we can go without knowing x and y.
(5x + y)/a = 2
 
in this case since the variable 'a' is the denominator in one side and a number on the other side of the equal sign, just swap them:
 
(5x + y)/2 = a
 
 

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