y = - 1/2 - 4
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briefcaseTeacher (K-12)
bookM.A. from Clemson University
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It looks like you are trying to collect like terms in order to solve for y. This can be tricky when both numbers you are working with are negative. And working with fractions can be tricky, too. So let's look at each of those separately.
You're beginning with a negative number. In this case, it's negative 1/2. I tell students whom I tutor to think about negatives in terms of money. So if I have a negative number, that means I'm in debt. In this case, I owe you 1/2 (which converted to a decimal would be .50).
So I'm starting out already "in the hole," over in the negatives. And then I go further into the negatives by borrowing 4 more dollars from you. I was sitting...
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