Solving Equations with Variables on Both Sides Page 3 of 4
Let's look at one more example with variables on both sides of the equals sign, this time we'll look at an equation that's a little harder.
There's more than one way to solve this equation. I think the easiest way is to simplify each side of the equals sign first. The right side has parentheses so we need to distribute the 8 first and then combine like terms (How do you combine like terms?). After you do that, it will look more like the two examples above.
Now that the right side is simplified, our next step is to get all the variables on both sides. You can either choose to cancel the -2x or the 3x. Since we like to avoid negatives, we'll cancel the -2x by adding 2x to both sides. This leaves us with a simpler equation that we can solve.
All that's left now is to check your answer. Plug in -3 for x in the original equation and make sure both sides come out to the same number.
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