Jessica H. | Highly Qualified Math Tutor with Diverse Experience and BackgroundHighly Qualified Math Tutor with Diverse...

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Hi Kevin!

In general, you always want to simplify both sides of an equation prior to moving terms across the equal sign. In the problem you provided, you can simplify both the left and the right side by combining the like terms.

5 + 4x -7 = 4x + 8
- 2x

The terms in bold are considered like terms and can be combined.

-2 + 4x = 2x + 8

Now that you have simplified each side, you can begin to solve for "x". The objective is to get all variable terms to one side and all constant terms to the other. You will use
inverse operations to do so.

I like to get the variables on the left side (most textbooks do this), but you don't have to.