I know x=-5 but how did i get that answer

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

`x = -85 ÷ 17`

That you can punch into a calculator to get

`x = -5`

## Comments

Excellent answer.