# Solving an Equation – Definition With Examples

Updated on January 4, 2024

## What Is Solving an Equation?

Solving an equation is a key concept in mathematics for children, where we find the values for variables that make the equation true. For example, consider the simple equation x + 3 = 5. To solve this, we subtract 3 from both sides, giving us x = 2. This process changes with different types of equations. In quadratic equations, like x² – 4x – 5 = 0, we might use factoring, resulting in (x – 5)(x + 1) = 0, and thus x = 5 or x = -1.

## Definition of an Equation

An equation is a mathematical statement showing that two expressions are equal, using an ‘=’ sign. For instance, 2x + 3 = 7 is an equation where 2x + 3 and 7 are expressions. Equations range from simple arithmetic to more complex forms involving variables and functions. They are essential in representing mathematical problems and real-world scenarios.

## Definition of Solving an Equation

Solving an equation means finding the values that make the equation true. For example, in the equation x – 4 = 10, solving for x gives us x = 14. This process often involves arithmetic operations to isolate the variable. It’s a fundamental skill in mathematics for children and forms the basis for more advanced math topics.

## Properties of Equations and Their Solutions

Equations have properties that aid in finding their solutions. The additive property allows adding the same number to both sides without changing the solution. For instance, in 3x = 6, dividing both sides by 3 (using the multiplicative property), gives us x = 2. These properties are foundational in solving equations and maintaining solution accuracy.

## Properties of Linear Equations

Linear equations, like y = mx + b, are first-degree equations (variables are not raised beyond the power of one). They graph as straight lines, with m representing the slope and b the y-intercept. Solving linear equations often involves methods like substitution or elimination. For example, in 2x + 3y = 6, we might solve for one variable and then find the other.

## Properties of Non-Linear Equations

Non-linear equations involve variables raised to higher powers or functions like trigonometry. For example, the quadratic equation x² + 5x + 6 = 0 can be solved using the quadratic formula, resulting in two solutions. These equations, which often graph as curves, are vital in modeling complex situations and require diverse solving techniques.

## Difference Between Equations and Expressions

Distinguishing between equations and expressions is crucial. An equation, like x + 2 = 5, shows equality between two expressions and includes an ‘=’ sign. An expression, such as 3x + 4, is a combination of numbers and variables but lacks an ‘=’ sign. This distinction is essential in mathematics for children to understand and solve problems accurately.

## Practice Problems on Solving Equations

- Solve 2x – 3 = 7.
- Find the solution for x² – 5x + 6 = 0.
- Solve for y in 3y + 2 = 11.

## Frequently Asked Questions on Solving Equations

### Can an equation have more than one solution?

Yes, like quadratic equations, which often have two solutions.

### What is the first step in solving an equation?

Simplify both sides, if necessary, and then isolate the variable.

### Is it possible for an equation to have no solution?

Yes, if no values satisfy the equation.

### Can we use a calculator to solve equations?

Calculators are useful, especially for complex equations, but understanding manual solving methods is crucial.