3(X+y)=y

if (X,y) is a solution to the equation above and y is not equal to 0 what is the ratio x/y ?

I don't understand this question and would love some step by step instructions !

Expert Answers

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Hello!

It is not hard. As you know, usually to find two unknowns two equations are required. There are only one equation, so probably we cannot find `x` and `y` separately. But the question is not about finding `x` and `y` but `x/y` only.

First, open the parentheses using the distributive law:

`3(x+y)=3x+3y=y.`

Then, move all terms with `x` to the left and all with `y` to the right (actually, add `-3y` to both sides):

`3x=y-3y=-2y`

 

(`y-3y=1y-3y=(1-3)y=-2y` by the distributive law also).

 

Now divide both sides of `3x=-2y`  by `y` and then by `2` and obtain

`x/y=-2/3.`

This is the ratio in question, -2/3.

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