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### Solving Simple Equations

```
Date: 02/23/98 at 16:17:26
From: Elizabeth Parker
Subject: Solving simple equations

I have been in Algebra for 3 months now and we are in factoring (the
very beginning of it). I understand all this, but I can't solve
equations like 3(30+s) = 4(s+19) and others following the same form.
If I could get all the help I can, I would really appreciate it!

Thank you -

Elizabeth Parker
```

```
Date: 02/24/98 at 14:01:12
From: Doctor Johnny
Subject: Re: Solving simple equations

Elizabeth,

Hello there.  I hope that I can help you work out this problem and any
other ones that you encounter in the future.

One of the first things you must consider in problems like these is,
"How do I get rid of the parentheses?"  I hope you remember the
distributive property.  If you've forgotten, here is a small reminder.
The distributive property is where you distribute (give) the number
outside the parentheses to the numbers on the inside of the
parentheses through multiplication.

For example:     2(3x+5) = 2(3x) + 2(5) = 6x + 10

In your problem: 3(30+s) = 4(s+19)
90+3s is the result of 3(30+s)
4s+76 is the result of 4(s+19)

Once we have used the distributive property, our equation becomes:

90+3s = 4s+76

and you must consider getting all the variables on one side and all of
the constants on the other. It doesn't matter which variable you move,
but one must be moved so that all of the variables are on the same
side. Once the variables are one one side and the constants are on the
other, you might need to finish solving the equation the way you
normally would.

I am now going to turn the problem back over to you. See if you can
solve other equations in the future. Good luck, and write us back
if you still don't understand.

-Doctor Johnny,  The Math Forum
Check out our web site http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
```
Associated Topics:
Middle School Algebra
Middle School Equations

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