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Worked example: number of solutions to equations

Sal attempts to solve 8(3x + 10) = 28x - 14 - 4x only to find that the equation has no solution. Created by Sal Khan and Monterey Institute for Technology and Education.

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Video transcript

Solve for x. We have 8 times the quantity 3x plus 10 is equal to 28x minus 14 minus 4x. So like every equation we've done so far, we just want to isolate all of the x's on one side of this equation. But before we do that, we can actually simplify each of these sides. On the left-hand side, we can multiply the quantity 3x plus 10 times 8. So we're essentially just distributing the 8, the distributive property right here. So this is the same thing as 8 times 3x, which is 24x, plus 8 times 10, which is 80, is equal to-- and over here, we have 28x minus 14 minus 4x. So we can combine the 28x and the minus 4x. If we have 28x minus 4x, that is 24x And then you have the minus 14 right over here. Now, the next thing we could-- and it's already looking a little bit suspicious, but just to confirm that it's as suspicious as it looks, let's try to subtract 24x from both sides of this equation. And if we do that, we see that we actually remove the x's from both sides of the equation because we have a 24x there, and we have a 24x there. You might say, hey, let's put all the x's on the left-hand side. So let's get rid of this 24x. So you subtract 24x right over there, but you have to do it to the left-hand side as well. On the left-hand side, these guys cancel out, and you're left with just 80-- these guys cancel out as well-- is equal to a negative 14. Now, this looks very bizarre. It's making a statement that 80 is equal to negative 14, which we know is not true. This does not happen. 80 is never equal to negative 14. They're just inherently inequal. So this equation right here actually has no solution. This has no solution. There is a no x-value that will make 80 equal to negative 14.