StaceyinLA Posted September 7, 2010 Share Posted September 7, 2010 5 - a = 1 Okay, so the answer is obvious, but, if you isolate the variable, and take the 5 from both sides, you get a -4. The question then is (from ds), how does 5 minus a -4 = 1. Clearly there is something we are missing with what happens to that minus sign - what is it?? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

creekland Posted September 7, 2010 Share Posted September 7, 2010 5 - a = 1 subtract 5 from each side OR add a to each side -a = 1 - 5 OR 5 = 1 + a (subtract 1 from each side if doing it this way) -a = -4 (multiply by -1 if doing it this way) OR 5 - 1 = a a = 4 or a = 4 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Dana Posted September 7, 2010 Share Posted September 7, 2010 5 - a = 1 Okay, so the answer is obvious, but, if you isolate the variable, and take the 5 from both sides, you get a -4. The question then is (from ds), how does 5 minus a -4 = 1. Clearly there is something we are missing with what happens to that minus sign - what is it?? That's why I recommend when learning this to show the steps on the same line rather than beneath - it's too easy to drop a sign. So 5 - a = 1 Subtracting 5 from each side (and showing this!) 5 - a - 5 = 1 - 5 Now simplify: - a = - 4 Note that the coefficient of a is -1, so we can multiply (or divide) by -1 on both sides, leaving a = 4. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

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