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Algebra

# Solve two-step equations

It takes two steps to solve an equation that has two steps:

1. Getting rid of the number "farthest" from the variable being solved.
2. Eliminating the number "closest" to the variable.

Solve for x: 2x+5=21

Notice that 2 is "closest" to variable x, and 5 is "farthest" away. This simple observation allows us to decide which number to eliminate first. It is obviously +5 because it is farther between the two. The opposite of +5 is -5, so that means we will subtract both sides of the equation by 5.

2x+5-5=21-5
2x=16

Now it's time to get rid of the number closest or directly attached to x which is 2. Since +2 is multiplying the variable x, its opposite operation is to divide by 2.

$\fs2\;\frac{2x}{2}=\frac{16}{2}\;\;\Rightarrow\;x=8$

Solve for x: 4x - 1 = 5
Simplify your answer and write it as a proper fraction or as a whole or mixed number.

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