*algebraic*is the adjective for algebra.)

## What Is an Algebraic Equation that Contains Subtraction?

An algebraic equation that contains subtraction is an equation with at least one letter being used to represent a number and with at least one subtraction.In the equation above, the x represents a number. In words, the equation means "x minus 4 equals 4". To solve the equation, we have to find the number that, when you take 4 away from it, equals 4.

## How to Solve This Equation

**Question:**What is the value of x in the equation below?

So you just have x on the left-hand side of the equals sign, and the answer on the right-hand side:

The key to rearranging an algebraic equation is:

**Whatever you do to one side of an equation, you must do to the other side!**

## Step-by-Step Approach

## 1

Look at what has been done to the x.

## 2

Find the opposite thing to get x on its own.
The opposite to subtraction is addition, as shown in the table of opposites below:

The opposite of -4 is +4:

The opposite of -4 is +4:

## 3

Do this to both sides of the equals sign.

This is the solution:

This is the solution:

## The Golden Rule of Algebra

The golden rule of algebra is:**Whatever you do to one side of an equation, you must do to the other side!**

If you do anything to just one side, the scales no longer balance and the equality no longer holds:

If you do the same thing to both sides, the scales return to balance, and the equality holds once again:

## Swap the Sides, Swap the Signs

Compare two of the steps in the step-by-step solution given on this page:You can think of this of as 'switching sides, switching signs'. The 4 has moved from the left hand side to the right hand side of the equals sign; and has changed to having a - to a + in front of it. This can be done to any term that is an addition or a subtraction.

## Equations ("Tetris" Game)

Here is an interactive game to help you learn about equations.- Each falling equation has a correct answer and a wrong one.
- Click on the correct one to score points and to make the equation disappear.
- If you click on the wrong one (or do not click), the equation will fall to the bottom.
- The wrongly answered or unanswered equations will start to build up.
- When the screen is full, you're toast.
- Good luck!

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