# How do you do algebra ? I am starting to learn it but I don't really get it . I got the algebra questions wrong on a game . Help ?

steveschoen | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Good morning, Abbey,

Algebra is a big field.  Entire courses are created just for portions of the entire algebra field.  So, "how to do algebra" would depend upon what the problem was, what the topic was, etc.

For instance, prior to Algebra, you probably had something like "3+4".  And, for an answer, you probably wrote 7.  Well, for Algebra, you would be given "x+4" but also be given "x=3", where one would need to be able to tell you put 3 in for x and get "3+4", getting 7.

Or, in another field of Algebra, you may be given "x+4=7", where you would need to know how to get the variable by itself by subtracting 4 from each side of the equal sign, getting x = 3.  So, here, you would be solving for x.  Whereas, before, you were given the value for x.

So, as you put questions on here, make sure they are as specific as you can make them.  Also, we aren't suppose to answer a lot of problems on one post.  In short, one post, one question, one answer.

robyn-bird96 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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Algebra is really fun, once you get the hang of it. Remember how before in math, where we use numbers (1+1=2, 2+4=6, 7*4=28, etc), now we have variables, which are usually letters (x, y, z, h, etc) to replace the numbers.  Basic algebra is like a puzzle, and you have to solve for the variable.

So for example, if you have the problem 5x+2=27, you would subtract 2 from both sides to get 5x=25.  You want to get the variable by itself, and because it is an equation, both sides have to be equal, so you need to do the same thing to both sides.  Next, you would divide both sides by 5, since 5/5=1, so your final answer is x=5.  To check your work, plug 5 in for x to get 5*5+2=27.

Once you get comfortable with solving basic problems, the whole field of algebra becomes just a bit simpler.

rachellopez | Student, Grade 12 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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It depends on what problem you are given. My best advice is to treat x as just an unknown number, not a letter. When people first start algebra, the x can seem really confusing, but it's just a variable.

Algebra can sometimes be very easy or very hard to understand. An easy problem would be 2+x=4. You know already that 2 plus 2 would give you 4, or to show you work you would subtract 2 from 4 to get x by itself. A harder problem would be 2x+2y=14 where x=2. In this case you would substitute 2 for x and get

2(2)+2y=14

4+2y=14

2y=10

y=5

For these problems, or even harder ones, you just have to use your basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to isolate x (or get it by itself). If you have a specific problem you'd like to look at you could submit it.

csmalley | eNotes Newbie

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Algebra is all about balancing equations

it has letters and numbers

here's an example x + 4 = 5

You need letters on one side, numbers on other, use the equation side as the middle scales, letters and numbers can move over it. If it changes sides it changes signs

So.

X +4=5

Becomes x = 5 - 4 (the +4 goes across the equals Bridge and becomes -4)

X = 1

Easy enjoy!

acompanioninthetardis | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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algebra is very simple, try not to over complicate it, as long as you follow the rules in algebra, and you know what kind of equation to use in what situation you will be fine, also make sure not to stumble upon the negatives and positives when it comes to algebra, the toughest problems can sometimes be taken down by algebra

it has many concepts, but once you grasp them its something that will began to make a lot more sense.

mchandrea | Student, College Junior | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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Algebra is a branch of mathematics that deals with unknowns and variables. This is commonly known to students as "the time in math when they mixed the letters with the numbers". This is where you learn about formulas, equations, factoring, etc. Letters are not just letters and numbers are not just numbers anymore.

One of the most frequent equations you'll be seeing is this `ax^2 + bx + c = 0`

Algebra is the first stage, towards many more much complicated maths you might be taking up in the future. Some tips to help you understand algebra would be to listen to your teacher, practice solving problems, ask more specific questions (to your peers and here at enotes as well). You have to keep in mind that the letters in algebra will have different values for every given equation. Any letter could be equal to any number.

Here is a link to a website that explains algebra quite well, and they have practice exercises you can choose from as well. Try answering and answering until you understand the concepts. Good luck and have fun learning!

Wiggin42 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Valedictorian

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Algebra is just a technique to solve problems. We are given knowns and unknowns (variables) and asked to solve for these unknowns. Some tips in doing algebra are: memorize order of operations PEMDAS, memorize algebraic identities, and lots of practice. Ultimately, the more practice you have these concepts, the better.