-3x   =  1___     ___ 5        2Can someone please help me solve this problem?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am not really sure if I am reading this equation right.  I think it means -3x/5 = 1/2.  I will solve that equation for you.

When you have an equation like that, the correct thing to do is to cross multiply.  That is, you multiply the top number of one side by the bottom number of the other side.

In this case, that would result in

-6x = 5

From there, you must divide both sides by -6.

This gets you

x = -5/6

If you like, you can divide it and get

x = - .8333

princessenotes | Student

(-3x/5)/(-3/5) = (1/2)/(-3/5)


= -5/6

giorgiana1976 | Student

Supposing that your equation has the following form:


We'll bring the term from the right side, namely (1/2), to the left side.


In order to solve the subtraction, the 2 ratios have to have the same denominator. It is  easy to see that the common denominator is 5*2=10.

To have the common denominator, the first ratio will be multiplied with 2 and the second with 5.



Now, in order to keep just the unknown, we'll eliminate the free term, namely (-5), by adding the opposite value, namely (+5), both side of the equal sign.



The final step will be to divide the equation with (-6):



neela | Student

-3x/5 = 1/2.This a a linear  equation . To solve for x we divide both sides by the  coefficient x.Therefore,

(-3x/5)/(-3/5) = (1/2)/(-3/5)

=(1/2)(-5/3), as division by a number  is equal to the multiplication by the reciprocal of the number .

= -1*5/(2*3)

= -5/6