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 Single-variable equations Solve one-step linear equations When the variable in a linear equation is involved in only one arithmetic operation, as is x+5=12, isolate the variable in one step by performing the inverse of that arithmetic operation on both sides of the equation. Addition and subtraction are inverse operations, as are multiplication and division. Solve for x: Since 5 is linked to x by addition, undo the addition by subtracting 5 from each side of the equation. $\fs2x+5=12\;\;\Rightarrow\;\;x+5-5=12-5\;\Rightarrow\;\;x=12-5\;\;\;\Rightarrow\;\;x=7$ Solve for x: Isolate x by multiplying each side of the equation by 4. $\fs2\;\frac{x}{4}=2\;\;\Rightarrow\;\frac{4x}{4}=2(4)\;\Rightarrow\;\;x=8$