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hoshimori
New Member

USA
1 Posts

 Posted - 10/02/2007 :  20:36:50 HOW ON EARTH DO YOU SOLVE LITERAL EQUATIONS??For example:ab=c, solve for bDo you first divide "a" from both sides? I'm just really confused. Please give a thorough and basic summary of how to solve literal equations. Edited by - hoshimori on 10/02/2007 20:38:02

the_hill1962

USA
1469 Posts

 Posted - 10/03/2007 :  13:34:14 Solving literal equations is very confusing to beginning math students! At first, a student is taught "to solve for the variable is to find out what it is EQUAL to". It is always a numerical value. Then, all of a sudden, they are told to "solve" but the answer does not appear to be an 'answer' (e.g. x=5 or y=-34).Here are a couple of websites that might help you out:http://www.math.unt.edu/mathlab/emathlab/Solving%20Literal%20Equations.htmhttp://www.purplemath.com/modules/solvelit.htm

the_hill1962

USA
1469 Posts

 Posted - 10/03/2007 :  15:55:08 I liked how you put the numerical examples in your original post.The way that I like to introduce "solving literal equations" is by going back to a basic problem such as 2x+5=19 and then I ask the question 'could you solve for x if the equation was' 2x+a=19 ?quote:Originally posted by DavidAgreed. Everything is confusing to beginning math students! They can best learn at first, whenever possible, by seeing patterns in numerical operations, and then using exactly the same processes with literal values. In the long run, what makes the change is practice and noticing patterns [or having them pointed out.]

Inkcoder
Junior Member

USA
3 Posts

 Posted - 10/04/2007 :  21:23:44 If the problem was 7a=700 how would solve it..STEP 1: 7a=700STEP 2: 77a=7007Divide by 7 ON BOTH SIDES7/7=1 So really 1*a=a. Now a=700/7, a=100. STEP 3:a=100 BINGO, You've solved the Problem.ab=c: Nothing different about this problem. Use the same exact steps. Edited by - Inkcoder on 10/04/2007 21:28:30

the_hill1962

USA
1469 Posts