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2x * -1= x + 2 34

two x -1 over 3 equals x
+two over 4

please show me how to work this problem

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2 Answers

The problem I believe you are trying to solve is:


The first step we want to take is to cross multiply.  When we do that, the result is:


Now we distribute the 4 and 3 through the parentheses:


Next we solve the equation for x by isolating x on one side of the equation.  First I'll add 4 to both sides of the equation:


Then subtract 3x from both sides of the equation


Now divide by 5, and you get x=2

You can double check the answer by plugging x=2 back in to the original equation. When we do, we find that both sides of the equation are equal to each other, meaning our solution is correct!




Because I do not know where your understanfing is breaking down, I'm going to start at the beginning.


Make sure you understand the meaning of the symbols you see on the page.  It helps to write the equations out in proper math language. For example know that when you say "over," thare's actually a math operation hiding there: division. When you verbalize  a problem in your head or in writing, always use math words.


two x -1 over 3 

is better worded as "2 times x, minus 1; divided by 3."

Notice that I added a comma and a semicolon. That was important, because that means that the

"2 times x" part comes first,

then the "minus 1" part,

then the "divided by 3" part.



In math, parentheses and the PEMDAS rule tell you what to do first, so get used to using them. More on PEMDAS later.


" 2 times x, minus 1; divided by 3."

is written in math as (2x -1)/3


Parentheses matter because you don't always do the math in reading order. For example, in the math sentence:

1-2x  (aka 1 minus: 2 times x), the "2 times x" part is solved first--if you replace a number with x. PEMDAS is a rule that tells you which parts of a number sentence to do first--if you replace a number with x:

P: parentheses. Do any operations that are inside a pair of parentheses.

E: Exponents. Do exponents or roots next.

M,D: Multiplication or division come next

A,S: Addition or subtraction comes last.



PEMDAS only works when you have a number to plug in for x. when you are "solving for x," You do NOT follow Pemdas--instead, you "isolate the variable" by doing the same thing on both sides of the equal sign until x is by itself. 

(You do the same thing on both sides to keep the equal sign true. for example: 2=2 is true.   The sentence "2+1 =2+1 is still true because I added the same number to both sides of the equal sign. But 2+1=2 is not true because I only added a number on one side of the equal sign)


There isn't a nifty rule to follow for isolating the variable, but you will usually

multiply to get rid of denominators first, and distribute* if you need to.

combine like terms**, if you need to

then subtract or add

then divide to get "x" by itself on one side of the equals sign.



Cross multiplying is just a short cut for the isolating a variable process--you multiply to get rid of denominators on both sides.

For example:(2x-1)/3=(x+2)/4   (2 times x, minus 1; divided by 3 equals  x plus 2, divided by 4)

The denominator on the left is 3, so you multiply both sides by 3 to get rid of that denominator.

3* (2x-1)/3 = #* (x+2)/ 4

can be rearranged as:

3/3 *(2x-1)  =  3* (x+2)/ 4  

Note: 3/3=1 and 1*(2x-1) is the same as (2x-1), so

3/3 *(2x-1) = 3* (x+2)/ 4 is the same as (2x-1) = 3* (x+2)/ 4


Next, you multiply both sides by 4 to get rid of the denominator on the right:

4*(2x-1)= 3* (x+2)/ 4 *4

which can be rearranged*  as

4*(2x-1)= 3* (x+2)* 4/4

which is the same as

4*(2x-1)= 3* (x+2)

which is the same as

4(2x-1)= 3(x+2),

...which is where the answer above starts.


*distribute and combine like terms are two techniques that you should definitely understand. I don't want to make this answer any longer, so I'm not going to explain them here.