lets say i were simply solving 12-4=8. i would start by adding 8 on both sides right? but why can i start with subtracting 12? arent we supposed to go in order from left to right? somebody please explain
Your example is not an equation (it's an identity). An equation contains one or more unknowns. For example 12x - 4 = 8 is a linear equation in a single unknown. You add or subtract terms to both sides so that similar types are together. In the above you would add 4 to both sides to get the constants together: 12x - 4 + 4 = 8 + 4 or 12x = 12. Now you divide both sides by 12 to isolate the unknown: 12x/12 = 12/12 or x = 1. Now you have solved for what was originally unknown.
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