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 17s get canceled out (specifically because
17/17 = 1), so what you're left with is:

Garland R. | Teacher By Day / Tutor By NightTeacher By Day / Tutor By Night

0

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.