# What is Algebra?

Algebra is a branch of mathematics that not only uses numbers, but letters that represent unknown numbers.

Any letter can represent an unknown number in an algebraic equation; however, the most popular letters or variables are **x**,** y **and

**.**

*z***So how do you solve an algebraic equation for its unknown variable?**

You must find the number that your variable stands for that will make both sides of the equation equal to each other.

For example, you have the equation **6 + x = 9**

We need to find a number (** x**) that when added to

**6**will equal

**9**.

We know that: **6 + 3 = 9 **

So this tells us that *x* = 3

# More Facts About Variables

*A specific variable can only stand for **ONE** specific number.

*There can be multiple variables in an equation, but they must stand for different numbers.

For example, you have the equation *x* + *x* = 12

Even though there are several possibilities (**8 + 4** *or* **10 + 2** *or* **3 +9**, *etc.*), * x* can only equal one number. So in this case,

*could only be*

**x****6.**

**6 + 6 = 12**

For this example, if you wanted to use two different numbers such as **8 + 4**, then your equation would have to have two different variables. Like this: ** x + y = 12 **where

**and**

*x*= 8

*y*= 4**8 + 4 = 12**

# Multiplication is Very Important!

Multiplication is known as the default or implied application in Algebra.

This means that if there isn’t an operation between two variables or a variable and a number, you must multiply them together.

For example, if you have the equation ** yz = 24 **since the

*and the*

**y***are right next to each other, it means the same as*

**z****x**

*y*

*z*= 24

Writing it in this form makes your equation less confusing, especially if you have * x* as your variable.

You can also use parenthesis **()** to signify multiplication.

For example: *y*(*z*) = 24*or* *x*(*y* + *z*) = 24 *or* **( x – y)(z + x) = 24 **

*ect.*

# Graphing

You will also graph equations on the * x* and

*plane in Algebra.*

**y**Some types of equations are: linear equations, quadratic equations, inequalities, absolute value, and much more!

For more information and Algebra fun visit the website below!

*The following website contains Algebra facts, definitions, practice problems, games, and much more!*

Math is Fun! Introduction to Algebra

Math Antics provides various instructional videos on different types of math. Watch the video “Algebra Basics: What Is Algebra?” below for more insight into the world of Algebra!

Published: Feb 3, 2016

Latest Revision: Feb 3, 2016

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