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### Course: Get ready for Precalculus > Unit 5

Lesson 1: Equivalent systems of equations and the elimination method- Systems of equations with elimination: King's cupcakes
- Why can we subtract one equation from the other in a system of equations?
- Elimination strategies
- Combining equations
- Elimination strategies
- Systems of equations with elimination: x-4y=-18 & -x+3y=11
- Systems of equations with elimination
- Systems of equations with elimination: potato chips
- Systems of equations with elimination (and manipulation)
- Systems of equations with elimination challenge
- Elimination method review (systems of linear equations)
- Worked example: equivalent systems of equations
- Worked example: non-equivalent systems of equations
- Reasoning with systems of equations
- Equivalent systems of equations review

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# Elimination strategies

Practice identifying strategies for eliminating variables in a system of equations.

## Want to join the conversation?

- when will i use any of this in my life(4 votes)
- You won't know that until you find need to. But you won't find you need to if you don't know how.

Your life isn't a pre-planned route you follow, where one of the steps is using this elimination strategy.

Instead, learning something is like unlocking a door that you can then walk through. You might find other interesting doors behind that door that lead to nice places.

To think of it another way, imagine if you understood a foreign language that you don't. Think of all the people that only speak that language, all the books, TV programmes, podcasts, etc that have been made in that language. You'll never experience any of them unless you learn that language, and you'll probably never know that you're missing them.(17 votes)

- Also could you simplify the equations first?(8 votes)
- Yes,It can be simplified if all the terms in the equation are having a
**common factor**.

For example-

**4x - 2y = 8**can be simplified to**2x - y = 4**

(By dividing by 2 because, 2 is their common factor)(7 votes)

- Could dividing the equations work?(9 votes)
- Determine the multiplier of the variable and divide both sides by it. Because the equation involves multiplying 20x, undo the multiplication in the equation by doing the opposite of multiplication, which is division. Divide each side by 20.

Reduce both sides of the equal sign. 20x ÷ 20 = x. 170 ÷ 20 = 8.5. x = 8.5.(0 votes)

- I still dont know how to do this(9 votes)
- So, as long as you eliminate a variable, you can proceed to solving the equation?(4 votes)
- In the elimination method you either add or subtract the equations to get an equation in one variable. When the coefficients of one variable are opposites you add the equations to eliminate a variable and when the coefficients of one variable are equal you subtract the equations to eliminate a variable.

Set apart two of the equations and eliminate one variable. Set apart another two equations and eliminate the same variable. Repeat the elimination process with your two new equations. Solve the final equation for the variable that remains.(3 votes)

- At5:18, why did Sal rule Choice A after the x's and the y's don't get eliminated? Wouldn't Sal subtract the numbers on the right side (7-7=0)? This would eliminate the variable on the right side!(3 votes)
- The numbers on the right are
*constants*, as are the numbers in front of X and Y.

The*variables*are Xs and Ys themselves. They're called variables because we do not know their value - which can change or**vary**, depending on the situation/problem/question.(3 votes)

- I still dont understand(2 votes)
- Go back to pre algebra(4 votes)

- what do energy points do?(2 votes)
- you can use them to obtain new avatars and whatnot(4 votes)

- So it's possible to just do one thing to one equation and not the other? That seems wrong somehow. Wouldn't that mess the whole thing up?(2 votes)
- Equations are independent of each other, so you do not have to do the same thing to all the equations. You still have to live with the rule of a single equation that if you do something to one side, you have to do the same thing to the other to keep it balanced.(2 votes)

- why option A isn't correct? after getting 10x+y=3 you can convert to slope intercept form and solve the other equation, no?(1 vote)
- it isn't correct because we're looking to
**eliminate**a variable. both variables are still in 10x + y = 3. of course, you can convert it to slope-intercept form and solve it, but the purpose of this video is to try elimination as a strategy.(4 votes)

## Video transcript

- [Instructor] We're asked
which of these strategies would eliminate a variable in the system of equations? Choose all answers that apply. So this first one says add the equations. So pause this video. Would adding the equations
eliminate a variable in this system? All right, now let's do it together. So if we add these equations, we have, on the left hand side, we have five x plus five x, which is going to be 10 x, and then you have negative
three y plus four y which is just a positive
one y or just plus y is equal to negative three plus six, which is just going to be
equal to positive three. We haven't eliminated any variables, so choice A, I could rule out. That did not eliminate a variable. Let me cross it out and not check it. Subtract the bottom equation from the top. Well when we subtract
the bottom from the top, five x minus five x, that's going to be zero x's,
so I won't even write it down, and we've already seen
we've eliminated an x so I'm already feeling
good about choice B, but then we can see negative
three y minus four y is negative seven y. Negative three minus six is
going to be negative nine and so choice B does
successfully eliminate the x's. So I will select that. Choice C, multiply the
top equation by two, then add the equations. Pause the video. Does that eliminate a variable? Well we're gonna multiply
the top equation by two so it's going to become 10 x minus six y is equal to negative six, and you could already see if
you then add the equations, 10 x plus five x, you're gonna have 15 x, that's not gonna get eliminated. Negative six y plus four
y is negative two y. That's not going to be eliminated, so we can rule that out, as well. Let's do another example. One, they're asking us the same question. Which of these strategies
would eliminate a variable in the system of equations? The first choice says multiply
the bottom equation by two, then add the equations. Pause this video, does that work? All right, so if we multiply
the bottom equation by two, we are going to get, if we multiply it by two, we're gonna get two x minus
two minus four y, I should say. Two x, I'm just multiplying
everything by two, minus four y is equal to 10. And then if we were to add the equations. Four x plus two x is six x, so that doesn't get eliminated. Positive four y plus negative
four y is equal to zero y, so the y's actually do get eliminated when you add four y to negative four y. So I like choice A and
I'm gonna delete this so I have space to work
on the other choices, so I like one. What about choice B? Pause the video, does that work? Multiply the bottom equation by four, then subtract the bottom
equation from the top equation. All right, let's multiply
the bottom equation by four. What do we get? We're going to get four x minus eight y is equal to 20, yup. We multiplied it by four and then subtract the bottom
equation from the top. So we would subtract four x from four x. Well that's looking good. That would eliminate the x's, so I'm feeling good about choice B. And then we could see if we
subtract negative eight y from four y, well, subtracting
a negative's the same thing as adding a positive, so that would actually get us to 12 y if we're subtracting
negative eight y from four y. And then if we subtract
20 from negative two, we get to negative 22, but we see that four x minus four x is going to eliminate our x's, so that does definitely
eliminate a variable, so I like choice B. Now what about choice C? Multiply the top equation by 1/2, then add the equations. Let's try that out, pause the video. All right, let's just multiply times 1/2, so the left hand side times 1/2, we distribute the one half
is one way to think about it. Four x times 1/2 is going to be two x plus four y times 1/2 is two y is equal to negative two times 1/2 is equal to negative one. Now and then they say add the equations. So two x plus x is going to be three x, so that's not going to eliminate the x's. Two y plus negative two y, well that's going to be no y's. So that actually will eliminate the y's, so I like this choice, as well. So actually, all three of these strategies would eliminate a variable
in the system of equations. This is useful to see 'cause you can see there's
multiple ways to approach solving a system like
this through elimination. Let's do another example. Which of these strategies
would eliminate a variable in the system of equations? Same question again. So the first one, they suggest to subtract
the bottom equation from the top equation. Pause this video, does that work? Well if we subtract the
bottom from the top, so if you subtract a negative two x, that's the same thing as adding two x, 'cause you're adding two x
to three x, that's five x. The x's don't get eliminated. Subtracting four y from negative
three y's just gonna get us to negative seven y. The y's don't get eliminated, so I would rule this one out. Nothing's getting eliminated there. Multiply the top equation by three, multiply the bottom equation by two, then add the equations. Pause the video, does that work? All right, so if I multiply
the top equation by three, I'm going to get nine x minus nine y is equal to 21, and then if I multiply the bottom by two, so this is times two, I'm going to get two times
negative two is negative four x plus eight y is equal to 14, and then they say add the equations. Well if I add nine x to negative four x, that doesn't eliminate the x's. That gets me to positive five x, and if I add negative nine
y to a positive eight y, that also doesn't eliminate the y's. That gets me to a negative y, so choice B, I can also rule out. Once again deleting all of this so I have space to try
to figure out choice C. Multiply the top equation by two, multiply the bottom equation by three, then add the equation. So they're telling us to
do it the other way around. Pause the video, does this work? All right, so we multiply
the top equation by two and we're gonna multiply the
bottom equation by three. So the top equation times two is going to be six x minus six y is equal to, is equal to 14. And then with this bottom equation, when you multiply it by three, both sides, that's the only way to
ensure that the equation is saying the same thing
is if you do the same thing to both sides. That's really the heart of algebra. So negative two times
three is negative six x, and I already like where this is going, 'cause when I add these two, they're going to get eliminated, plus four y times three
is gonna be plus 12 y is going to be equal to 21. And then they say add the equations, well, you immediately see
when you add the x terms on the left hand side, they are going to cancel out. So I like choice C.