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## Pre-algebra

### Course: Pre-algebra>Unit 7

Lesson 2: One-step equations intuition

# Same thing to both sides of equations

In this fun math problem, we have a balanced scale with a mystery mass on one side and several 1-kilogram masses on the other. To find the mystery mass, we remove the same number of 1-kilogram masses from both sides, keeping the scale balanced. Then, we can easily determine the mystery mass's weight. Created by Sal Khan.

## Want to join the conversation?

• Does algebra always have varibles, or is there always an unknown?
• When we use "both sides" that means both sides of what?
• He means both sides of equation. Left of = sign, and right of = sign. Hope it helps :)
• Why exactly do we do the same thing to both sides?
• It keeps it equal. So, for example, if I had 7=7, and I wanted to add 2 to the left side, I'd have to add 2 to the right side to make both sides equal again: 7+2=7+2 or 9=9.

You can kind of think of it as "both sides are essentially saying the exact same thing." if we say x+3=9, we're saying x+3 is the exact same thing as 9. "x+3" literally means "9." So, if we were to subtract 3 from our "x+3," we'll have to do the exact same thing to our "9" (subtract 3) to make them stay the same thing.
• what is slope?
• Slope, commonly represented as "m", is the how much the line tilts on a graph. It is commonly deciphered with the form "rise over run", basically saying that you must find two points on a line, find the y difference and the x difference, and then divide the y difference by the x difference.
• why is x the most commonly used variable
• The answer that seems more likely is that many other letters are often used for particular things (t for time, D for diameter, L for length, V for volume, E for energy, etc.), but there aren't many words that start with x. So, it makes for a good general-use variable.
• nice drawing Sal
• Sal is quite an artist isn't he? ;)
• are you having a nice day? (if answer is yes: Great! I hope tomorrow is the same!:) ) (if answer is no: :( hope your day brightens up...)
• if there is a problem like x+3(squared)=12
my question is, is if the square is on the number and not the variable, does it qualify as a linear expression?
• yes, it will always be a linear equation.
when you get that type of problem, you should try to simplify the equation, here,
x+9=12
x=12-9=3
therefore the line is x=3