*So we get 4 times negative 18 is equal to x over 4, times 4. You divide something by 4 and multiply by 4, you're just going to be left with an x. Sometimes there are problems that need slightly more complicated equations.*

For example, let's say you want to buy a coat that costs $100. Your mum has told you that she will match whatever amount of money you can save to help you buy the coat.

Learning Basic Algebra Rules Understanding Variables Learning to Solve Equations by "Canceling" Sharpening Your Algebra Skills Exploring Intermediate Topics Show 2 more... Article Summary Questions & Answers Related Articles References wiki How is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors.

As long as you perform the same operation on both sides of the equation, the equation remains balanced.

The rest is simply performing a series of arithmetic functions to break apart the complex equation in an effort to get the variable x by itself. This concept may sound daunting, but by taking away complex functions like square roots and exponents, you drastically reduce the complexity of the problem. This equation is already expressed in its simplest terms and is ready to be taken apart and solved. The basic principle behind algebra is to get the variable (x) on one side by itself and a number on the other side of the equals sign.

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Or click the "Show Answers" button at the bottom of the page to see all the answers at once.

This article has over 645,323 views, and 38 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. Learning algebra can seem intimidating, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not that hard!

You just have to follow the order for completing parts of the equation and keep your work organized to avoid mistakes!

The only rule here is to make sure that what you do to one side, you do to the other. For example, if you add 29 to the left side in order to isolate t, you must also add 29 to the right side to balance the equation. In order to make sure that you have solved the problem correctly, plug your answer back into the original problem.

After performing the calculations required to solve for t, calculate the original problem by substituting t with your answer.

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