Solving x-(-16) = 0
Date: 02/17/98 at 23:11:30 From: Ashley Subject: Algebra (addition, and subtraction) My question will probably be considered quite simple but all I need is the answer and I can figure it out. Here goes: x- -16 = -16 I'm totally clueless and it's just my luck that my math page got ripped out of my text so I have no instructions. Thanks! Confused Girl, Ashley
Date: 04/16/98 at 12:53:12 From: Doctor Morrell Subject: Re: Algebra (addition, and subtraction) Ashley, Hi, my name is Matt, I'm a senior in high school, and I'm going to try to help you better understand these types of problems. What you're asking can be confusing at first, but with practice these problems become second nature. First let's change the problem. Instead of x- -16 = -16, we'll use: x- -12 = -12 The first thing that we need to discuss is sign changes. You have probably already been taught these, but I just want to refresh your memory. If you have two negative signs right beside each other, they become positive: 4- -5 = 4 + 5 If you have a positive and a negative right beside each other, they become negative: 4+ -5 = 4 - 5 If you have two positive signs right beside each other, they become positive: 4+ +5 = 4 + 5 If you have a negative and a positive right beside each other, they become negative: 4- +5 = 4 - 5 If you look at your problem, that is all you are doing. You're simplifying the signs by the rules above. So take: x- -12 = 0 As you can see, there are two negatives (-) right beside each other so the two negatives become a positive, and: x- -12 = 0 becomes x + 12 = 0 The last thing that you have to do is solve for zero. It may sound complicated, but trust me, all you do is change the sign and move it across the equal sign. What you do for solving zero is move your 12 to the other side. Because 12 is positive you must subtract it FROM BOTH SIDES. Make sure that you subtract from BOTH sides or your answer will come out wrong: x + 12 = 0 -12 -12 --------------- x + 0 = -12 The answer can be rewritten as: x = -12. The exact same process is used in your problem. I'll give you some practice problems that you can try. questions: answers: x- -7 = 0 x = -7 x- -1 = 0 x = -1 y- -9 = 0 y = -9 These types of problems become VERY important in later math classes. Good luck to you in the future. -Doctor Morrell, The Math Forum Check out our web site! http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
Search the Dr. Math Library:
Ask Dr. MathTM
© 1994- The Math Forum at NCTM. All rights reserved.