One of the most important topics in algebra is the process of solving linear equations. In this article, we will look at an introduction to linear equations in general and then focus on linear equations with fractions.

We will look at several equations with answers to facilitate learning the processes to solve these types of equations.

## What are linear equations?

Linear equations have the characteristic that they can be written in the form , where is a variable or unknown and and are known numbers.

For an equation to be linear, it must contain only variables raised to the first power after being reduced to its simplest form. For example, the equations and are linear equations.

The equation does not appear to be a linear equation. However, we can see that when we write it in its simplest form, that is, when we combine like terms, the terms that contain disappear and we have the equation . Therefore, this equation is a linear equation.

All linear equations with one variable and fractions have exactly one solution.

### EXAMPLES

The following are linear equations:

•

•

•

•

## Rule of equations

It is possible to perform any operation (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) on one side of the equation, as long as we perform the same operation on the other side of the equation.

For example, we have the equation . If we want to, we can add 5 to both sides of the equation: .

Note that with this equation, it was not very helpful to have added 5 to both sides of the equation. However, we can use the same idea to apply operations in a way that simplifies the equation and we can find its solution.

Now we will look at a method that we can use to solve linear equations with fractions.

Start now: Explore our additional Mathematics resources

## Method for solving linear equations with fractions

1. Simplify both sides of the equation:

a. Remove the parentheses (using the distributive property) if there are any.

b. Remove the fractions (multiply both sides by the least common multiple).

c. Combine like terms.

2. Isolate the variable on one side of the equation:

We apply addition and subtraction so that the variable is on only one side of the equation and the constants are on the other side.

3. Apply different operations to completely isolate the x.

4. Verify the answer.

## Linear equations with fractions – Examples with answers

### EXAMPLE 1

- Find the value of in the equation .

**Solution:**

1. Simplify:

We remove the parentheses: .

We simplify the fractions by multiplying by 2: .

Combine like terms: .

2. Isolate the variable: move the 16 to the right and the -4x to the left:

3. Apply different operations to isolate the : divide both sides by 13:

4. Verify your solution: substitute the value in the original equation:

This is true

**Answer:**

### EXAMPLE 2

- Find the value of in the equation .

**Solution:**

1. Simplify:

There are no parentheses.

Simplify the fractions: multiply by 6: .

Combine like terms: .

2. Isolate the variable: move the 24 to the right:

3. Apply different operations to isolate the : divide both sides by 5:

4. Verify your solution: substitute the value in the original equation:

This is true

**Answer:**

### EXAMPLE 3

- Find the value of in the equation .

**Solution:**

1. Simplify:

Remove the parentheses: .

Remove the fractions: multiply by 10: .

Combine like terms: .

2. Isolate the variable: move the 20 to the right and the 12x to the left:

3. Apply operations to isolate the : divide both sides by 13:

4. Verify your solution: substitute the value in the original equation:

This is true

**Answer:**

### EXAMPLE 4

- Find the value of in the equation .

**Solution:**

1. Simplify:

Remove the parentheses: .

Remove the fractions: .

Combine like terms: .

2. Isolate the variable: move the -24 to the right and the -6x to the left:

3. Apply operations to isolate the : divide both sides by -5:

4. Verify your solution: substitute the value in the original equation:

This is true

**Answer:**

## Linear equations with fractions – Practice problems

## See also

Interested in learning more about linear equations? Take a look at these pages:

### Learn mathematics with our additional resources in different topics

**LEARN MORE**