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I'm trying to do some equations for homework and I can't figure out how to do it

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2 Answers

When solving equations, make sure you do the following:

1) Both sides of the equation need to be simplified
2) Arrange variable terms to only be on one side of the equation by doing the "opposite operation"
3) Solve what remains by doing "opposite operations" in the "reverse order of operations."

Let me explain...

Suppose you have an equation like this:  x + 2 + 3x + 5 = 3x - (2x + 2)

Step 1) The left side x + 2 + 3x + 5 can be simplified by combining like terms.
            We get 4x + 7

            The right side 3x - (2x + 2) will take a couple actions to simplify.
            First distribute the negative over the grouping to get -2x - 2
            Then combine the 3x term with the -2x term
            The right side simplifies to be x - 2

So after simplifying each side of my equation, I have:
4x + 7 = x - 2

Step 2) Notice that you have an x-term on the left side and on the right side.  Apply the opposite of one of these terms... and do this to both sides:

4x + 7 = x - 2
-x         -x                                                       .
3x + 7  =  -2  

Step 3)  Now solve 3x + 7 = - 2 by "thinking opposite."

3x  +  7  =   - 2
     -   7       - 7
3x          =  - 9 

3x   =   - 9
 3          3

x  = - 3

I hope seeing all three steps in one problem makes doing all your algebra homework a bit easier.  
By the way, did you notice how my problem looks a lot like yours?