what is the value of x

Donovan,

The goal of this problem is to find the value of x. To do this, you need to get x by itself on one side of the equal sign. That means you need to "get rid of" the 5 and the 9. Remember that you can add or subtract the same thing from both sides of the equation without changing the meaning of the equation. You can also multiply or divide both sides of the equation by the same thing, but you have to make sure to multply or divide every term on both sides of the equal sign. That's easier to do if you first move all terms that are added to or subtracted from the variable x, then take care of the multiplying and dividing. Let's go through this step by step to show what I mean:

x/5 + 9 = 4 First get rid of the 9 by doing the opposite function. The 9 is added to x, so remove it by using the opposite function, subtracting 9 from both sides.

x/5 + 9 - 9 = 4 - 9 Now do the subtracting.

x/5 = -5 Next, get rid of the 5 in the denominator of (x/5) by doing the opposite function. x is divided by 5, so remove it by using the opposite function, multiplying both sides by 5.

(x/5) * 5 = (-5) * 5 Do the multiplying. (I put parentheses around the x/5 so you'll remember that this entire fraction is being multiplied by 5. I put parentheses around the -5 so you won't lose the negative sign or confuse it with a minus sign.)

x = -25 So, x is equal to -25!

It's good to see you so interested in figuring out your math problems. Keep it up!