I don't understand how to get the answer

I don't understand how to get the answer

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Jennifer,

Think of the y's as apples and the 18 as oranges. Just add up each kind of fruit:

-5y+4y-1y = -2y

-18 = -18

so the answer is -2y -18

or in terms of fruit: -2 apples and -18 oranges ( and yes minus fruit is an abstract concept)

Now I suspect the problem may actually have been stated as:

-5y+4y-18-y = 0 (check the source of the problem). This is solved as follows:

-5y+4y-18-y = 0

-2y -18 = 0

add +18 to each side and get:

-2y = +18

Divide both sides by -2 to get:

y = +18 / (-2)

or ** y= -9**

Does that help? Good Luck, *BruceS*