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# how to solve -5x + 8 less than or greater to x - 4

Im kind of confused on what to do at this point.

### 2 Answers by Expert Tutors

David D. | Philosophy and Math tutor Philosophy and Math tutor
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-5x+8 vs x-4
first, lets separate the 2 functions.

f(x) can be replaced by y

f(x)= -5x+8
x=1 y=3
x=2 y=-2
x=3 y=-7

f(x)= x-4
x= 1 y=-3
x=2 y=-2
x=3 y=-1

the equations intercept at 2,-2

f(x)= x-4 is the greater equation if the linear equation is above the other equations plotted lines.

Henry C. | Seasoned Researcher/TechnicianSeasoned Researcher/Technician
5.0 5.0 (55 lesson ratings) (55)
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Katie,

Are you confident that you read/wrote the question properly?  The phrase "...less than or greater to..." reminds me of something I might find in a line of computer code as some sort of Boolean operator, for example Pascal's 'not equal to' operator '<>'.

If that is indeed the sort of problem you are presenting, the approach requires the use of some Boolean logic.  Since the equations are being evaluated for non-equality as a true value, it is easiest to find the solutions which produce equality (a false Boolean value) in this case.  When is -5x + 8 equal to x - 4?

-5x + 8 = x - 4

Solve as any other equation in one variable....  I suggest adding 5x + 4 to both sides, thus:

-5x + 8 + 5x + 4 = x - 4 + 5x + 4

12 = 6x

And then dividing both sides by 6 (which, by the way, is clearly non-zero):

2 = x

We now have the only value of x where -5x + 8 is exactly equal to x - 4.  That then allows us to observe that for every x not equal to 2, -5x + 8 is not equal to x - 4.  At this point, one could even re-write the conditional statement as x <> 2, right?
Maybe better to write 2 <> x, so a typo doesn't accidentally make an assignment like in other languages.  :)