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BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

Chapter 1: Basic Algebra


Introduction

Algebra is the branch of mathematics that uses letters in place of some unknown numbers.
Literal numbers (the letters used in algebra) can either stand for variables (where the value
of the letter can change, such as the area of a rectangle and the area of a square) or constants
(where the value does not change), for example e (which has a constant value of 2.781828...).
Algebra is a powerful tool for problem solving in science, engineering, economics, finance,
architecture, ship-building and many other day-to-day tasks. If we did not use letters in place
of numbers (and used words instead), we would be writing many pages for each problem
and it would be much more confusing.

The 'Father of Algebra'


Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi

Al-Khwarizmi
Al-Khwarizmi lived in Baghdad, 780 to 850 AD. He was one of the first to write about
algebra (using words, not letters).
Around 825 he wrote Al-jabr wal muq abala, from which we get the word algebra (meaning
'restoration of broken parts'). This book included many word problems, especially to do with
inheritance.
He was also influential in the establishment of Hindu-Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3, ...) which
replaced Roman numerals (I, II, III, IV,...). The Hindu-Arabic system was much easier to
use when performing mathematical operations, since it is a base-10 system.
1.1

Simplifying Algebraic Fractions

Algebraic fraction has the same properties as numerical fraction. The only difference being
that the numerator (top) and denominator (bottom) are both algebraic expressions. Fractional
1

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BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

algebra is a rational number usually stated in the form of p , where p and q are integers.
q

Integer 'p' is known as the numerator and integer 'q' as denominator.


Meanwhile, an ordinary fraction is usually use to represent a part of an object or figure. For
example: a cake is cut into 6 equal parts. One part can be represented with fractional
expression of 1/6, similarly if expressed in the fractional algebra. There are some important
terms to be familiarize with before solving fractional algebra.

i.

Equivalent fractions are fractions having same value.

1
2

ii.
iii.

2
4

4
8

Single fraction is any fractional phrase.


Lowest fractional form is a fraction that cannot be simplified further, or, its
numerator and denominator does not have a common factor.

p
q

Numerator
Denominator

Example 1
Complete the equivalent fractions below :
2
6
a)

5
10
20
b)

c)

A
AB

2
BC
AB C

d)

XYZ
XYZ

XZ
XYZ

20

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BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

Solution:
2
4
6
8
a)

5
10
15
20
2
6
20
b)
2

1
3
10
c)

A
A2 B
AB

2
2
BC
AB C
B C

d)

XYZ
XYZ
XY 2 Z
2

XZ
XYZ
X YZ 2
2

Example 2
Simplify each of the following fractions:
2b
7b 2

a)

b)

3x x 2
6x 2

c) 6m (2m) 4m

Solution:
(a)
(b)

2b
2b
2

2
7 b b 7b
7b
2
3x x
x(3 x) 3 x

2
x (6 x )
6x
6x

NOTE: The cancellation in (b) is allowed since x is a common factor of the numerator and
the denominator. Sometimes extra work is necessary before an algebraic fraction can be
reduced to a simpler form.
6m (2m) 4m 6m 2m 4m

(c)

12m
Example 3
Simplify the algebraic fraction:

x 2 2x 1
x 2 2x 3

Solution
In this case, the numerator and denominator can be factorised into two terms. Thus,

x 2 2 x 1 ( x 1) 2 and x 2 2 x 3 ( x 1)( x 3)

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BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

x 2 2 x 1 ( x 1)( x 1)

x 2 2 x 3 ( x 3)( x 1)

So,

x 1
x3

Exercise 1
Simplify each of the following algebraic fractions.
(a)

7a 6 b 3
14a 5 b 4

(b)

y 2 7 y 10
y 2 25

Solution
(a)

7a 6 b 3
. Instead of expanding the factors, it is easier to use the rule of
14a 5 b 4
indices (powers) :

The fraction is

am
a mn
n
a
,

Thus,

7a 6 b 3
7 a 6 b3


14a 5 b 4 14 a 5 b 4

(b)

1
a 6 5 b 3 4
2

1
a 6 5 b 3 4
2

a
2b

In this case, initial factorization is needed. So,

y 2 7 y 10 ( y 5)( y 2)

and

y 2 25 ( y 5)( y 5)
Thus,

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BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

y 2 7 y 10 ( y 5)( y 2)

( y 5)( y 5)
y 2 25

y2
y 5

Exercise 2
Which of the following is a simplified version of

(a)

t4
t2

(b)

t4
t2

(c )

t4
t2

(d )

t 2 3t 4
?
t 2 3t 2
t4
t2

Solution
Factorize the numerator and denominator is respectively

t 2 3t 4 (t 1)(t 4)

t 2 3t 2 (t 1)(t 2)

and

so that,

t 2 3t 4 (t 1)(t 4)

t 2 3t 2 (t 1)(t 2)

t4
t2

So far, simplification has been achieved by cancelling common factors from the numerator
and denominator. There are fractions which can be simplified by multiplying the numerator
and denominator by an appropriate common factor, thus obtaining an equivalent, simpler
expression.

Exercise 3
Simplify the following fractions:
1
y
4
1
2

a)

3x

b)

1
x

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BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

Solution
(a)

In this case, multiplying both the numerator and the denominator by 4 gives:
1
1
y 4( y )
1 4y
4
4

1
1
2
4( )
2
2

(b)

To simplify this expression, multiply the numerator and denominator


by 2 x. Thus
1
1
x(3x )
2
x
x 3x 1
2
2x
2x

3x

Exercise 4
Simplify each of the following algebra fractions.
4y

(a)

3
2

1
3
(b)
1
z
2
z

Solution
(a)

The fraction is simplified by multiplying both the numerator and the denominator by
2.
3
3
2(4 y )
2
2 8y 3
2
2 2
4

4y

(b)

In this case, since the numerator contains the fraction 1/3 and the denominator
contains the fraction 1/2, the common factor needed is 2 3 = 6. Thus

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BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

1
1
6( z )
3
3 6z 2
1
1
6z 3
z
6( z )
2
2
z

Exercise 5:
1
x 1 ?
x 1

Which of the following is a simplified version of

x2 x 1
(a) 2
x x 1
(c )

x2 x 1
(b)
x2 1

x2 1
x2 x 1

(d )

x 2 1
x2 1

Solution:

For

1
x 1
x 1

, the common multiplier is ( x + 1). Multiplying the numerator and the

denominator by this gives:


1
1
( x 1)( x
)
x 1
x 1
x 1
( x 1)( x 1)

( x 1) x ( x 1)(

( x 2 1)

1
)
x 1

( x 2 x 1)
( x 2 1)

Exercise 7:
1.

Simplified the following.


a) 2rs 3r 2 s 3t
5
b) 4 p 2 q ( p 3 q 2 x)
12

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BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

c) 24ab 2 c 6ab
36 f 3 g 2 h
d)
9 f 2 g 2h

3 p 2 q 15npq 2
10npq
26 xy 2 z 3 12 xyz 18xz
7r 2 s 2 (4r 2 s 2 ) 3rs 2
6mn 2 xy 3mn 5xy 4
5(2ab 3by)
(6mk 15ab 12c 2 ) 3
(5xy 3z 2 ) (2 xy 4 z 2 )
(3 p 2 k 2mn) (rs 3mn p 2 k )
1
9 (8m 4n)
2
10 x 12
2(5 x 3)
2

e)
f)
g)
h)
i)
j)
k)
l)
m)
n)

Answer for Exercise 7:


1.

a)
b)
c)
d)
e)
f)
g)
h)
i)
j)
k)
l)
m)
n)

6r 3 s 4 t
5
p5q3 x
3
4bc
4f
9 2 2
p q
2
39xyz 3
11r 2 s 2 3rs 2
3mn 7 xy 4
10ab 15xy
2mk 5ab 4c 2
7 xy z 2

4 p 2 k mn rs
9 4m 2n
15x 12

12

2.

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BASIC ALGEBRA

2.

BA101/CHAPTER 1

Given that a=1, b=-2, x=-1 and y=3,


find the value of

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BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

2
2
3. 2a b xy ax

10

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BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

4.

11

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BASIC ALGEBRA
1.2

BA101/CHAPTER 1

Solving Algebraic Fractions Using Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division

It is make revenue process of finding increase and revenue push of two or more fraction algebra. In
settling these operations there were 3 moves that must be followed.

ADDITION
Example 1:
Calculate
3 1

5 5

.
Solution:
Since the denominators are the same, the denominator of the answer will be 5. Adding the
numerators , 3 + 1 = 4. The result will be:
3 1 3 1 4

5 5
5
5

Example 2:
Calculate
1 1

2 3
Solution:
The denominators are different, so you must build each fraction to a form where both have
the same denominator. Since 6 is the common factor for 2 and 3, build both fractions to a
denominator of 6.
1
1 3 3
1
2
2 3 6

and,
1
1 2 2
1
3
3 2 6

Then
1 1 3 2 3 2 5

2 3 6 6
6
6

SUBTRACTION
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BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

Example 1:
3 1
Calculate
5 5
Solution:
The denominators are the same, so you can skip step 1. The denominator of the answer will
be 5. Subtract the numerators for the numerator in the answer. 3 - 1 = 2. The answer is
3 1 3 1 2

5 5
5
5

Example 2:
Calculate
1 1

2 3

Solution:
Since the denominators are not the same, you must build each fraction to a form where both
have the same denominator. As 6 is the common factor for 2 and 3, use 6 as the
denominator.
1
1 3 3
1
2
2 3 6

and,
1
1 2 2
1
3
3 2 6

Then,
1 1 3 2 32 1

2 3 6 6
6
6

MULTIPLICATION
Example 1:
3 8

4 9

Solution:
Multiply the numerators and the denominators, and simplify the result. Thus,
13

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BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

3 8 24 2

4 9 36 3

Example 2:
2 6

7 15

Solution:
Multiply the numerators and the denominators, and simplify the result. Thus,
26
12
4

7 15 105 35

DIVISION
Example 1:
3 9

4 16

Solution:
Change the division sign to multiplication and invert the fraction to the right of the sign.
3 16

4 9

Multiply the numerators and the denominators, and simplify the result.
3 16 48 4

4 9 36 3

Example 2:
3 9

40 8

Solution:
Change the division sign to multiplication and invert the fraction to the right of the sign.
3 8

40 9

Multiply the numerators and the denominators, and simplify the result.

14

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BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

3 8 3 8
24
1

40 9 40 9 360 15

Exercise 1:

Exercise 2:

Exercise 3:

Simplify

(5st )(8s 2 t 3 )
10s 3t 2

Solution:

(5st )(8s 2 t 3 ) 40s 3t 4

4t 2
3 2
3 2
10s t
10s t

Simplify

12a 2 b
(3ab 2 ) 2

Solution:

12a 2 b
12a 2 b
4

3
2 2
2 4
(3ab )
9a b
3b

Simplify

2m 2 n 6mn
2m

Solution:

Form the given fraction into 2 fractions,


both with denominator 2m. Thus,

2m 2 n 6mn 2m 2 n 6mn

mn 3n
2m
2m
2m

Exercise 4:

Simplify

1
x

5
4
x

Solution 1 - Multiplying by the reciprocal


Change the top expression into a single fraction with denominator x.
3

1 3x 1

x
x

Change the below expression into a single fraction with denominator x.


5
5 4x
4
x
x

Thus, the question has become:

15

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BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

1
3x 1
x x
5
5 4x
4
x
x

Look at the right hand side expression as a division process. Thus,


3x 1 5 4 x

x
x

Instead of division, we can carry out the multiplication by a reciprocal method.


3x 1
x
3x 1

x
5 4x 5 4x

The x's cancelled out, and we have our final answer, which is in its simplest form.
Solution 2 - Multiplying top and bottom
Multiply "x" to both the numerator and denominator. So, by just multiplying
the top and bottom part by x, everything will be simplified.
1
(3 )
x x 3x 1
5
x 5 4x
( 4)
x

1.3 Conversion of Formulas.


ADDITION
Example 1:
Given a = b + c, make c as the subject.
Solution
Since:
a = b + c,
Subtract b from both sides of the equation,
ab= b+cb
or
ab = bb+c
then,
ab= c
Therefore:
c= ab

SUBTRACTION
16

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BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

Example 1:
Given a = c d, make d as the subject.
Solution
Since:
a = c d,
Add d to both sides of the equation.
Then,
a+d=cd+d
a+d=c+dd
a+d=c
Deduct a from both sides of the equation.
We have:
a+d=c
Then,
a+da=ca
aa+d=ca
d=ca
Example 2:
Solve the equation
x 6 = 10
Solution:
Add 6 to both sides of the equations.
We have:

x 6 = 10
x 6 + 6 = 10 + 6

Then,
So,

x = 16

Thus, the value of x needs to be 16 to make the equation true.


Check with the given question:
16 6 = 10. It checks out to be correct.

MULTIPLICATION
Example 1:
If V = IR, make I as the subject.
Solution
Given V = IR.
17

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BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

Divide both sides of the equation with R,


V IR

R R

Then:

V
I
R

or

V
R

Example 2:
Solve:

5x = 35

This time we are asking:


5 ? = 35

Setting x as the subject, divide both sides by 5:

5x 35
5 x 35

5
5

x7

Check: 5 7 = 35. It checks out to be correct.

DIVISION
Example 1:
Make t as the subject for formula v

s
.
t

Solution
s
. Find t.
t
Multiply both equations with t,
s
vt t , then vt s .
t

Given v

Divide both sides of the equation with v,


vt s
Since:
vt s
s
Then,
or t

v v
v

18

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BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

Combination of Arithmatic Operations

Example 1:
Make x as subject for formula y mx c .
Solution
Given y mx c .
Subtract c from both sides of the equation,
y c = mx + c c
thus,
y c = mx.
Divided both sides with m,
y c = mx,
y c mx

m
m

then

yc
x
m
yc
x
m

Thus,

Example 2
Given V = E Ir, make r as the subject.
Solution:
then

V = E Ir ,
V + Ir = E
Ir = E V.

Divide both sides of the equations with I,


Ir E V

I
I

So,

E V
I

Example 3
Solve 5 (x + 2) = 5x

19

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BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

Solution
First, we open the bracket:
5 (x + 2) = 5x
5 x 2 = 5x
3 x = 5x
By adding x to both sides of the equation,
We have: 3 = 6x
Now divide both sides by 6 and swap sides:
Thus:

x = 0.5

Example 4
Solve 5x 2(x 5) = 4x
Solution:
Expanding the bracket:
5x 2(x 5) = 4x
5x 2x + 10 = 4x
3x + 10 = 4x
Subtracting 3x from both sides gives:

x = 10

ARITHMETIC OPERATION WITH PARENTHESIS

Example 1:
Make C as the subject given that A BC D
C

Solution
Given: A BC D ,
C

Multiply both sides of the equation with C,


AC

BC D
C
C

= BC BD
20

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BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

Move BC to the left side of the equation,


AC BC = BD
Factorization of C,
C (A B) = BD
BD
A B
BD

A B

BD
A B

or

BD
B A

Exercises
Example 1:
Make d as the subject for V

d 2 h
4

Solution:
Given V

d 2 h
4

Multiply both sides of the equation with 4,

4V

d 2 h
4

4V = d2h
Divide both sides with h,

4V d 2 h

h
h
4V
d2
h

Get the square root of both sides,


4V
d2
h

21

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BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1
4V
d
h

Example 2:
The area of a circle is given by A = r2 . Find the value of r.
Solution
Making r as the subject, we have,
r2 = A
Divide both sides with :
A

r2

So,

Problem Solving
A copper wire with a length of = 2 cm, resistance R= 4 and resistivity
= 17.2 x 10-6 cm. Calculate the cross-section area A, of the wire, by using
the resistivity formula, R

1.

Solution
R

(17.2 10 6 )(2)
A

A 8.6 10 6 cm 2

Exercise 1:
1. Simplify the following:
(a)

3
a

2a 3bc

(b)

1
2

m(m 1) m

22

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BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

(c) 2 5 4 y
x 15 xy
(d) 3 5
2x y
2
(e) p pq

(f)

4
2

9 xy y

(g)

t
5w 3
2
10 z 3t

p
p2 q2

2
2
(h) x 3y 2 x 2 2 y

3xy

x y

2. If F Newton's force, m kg mass and a ms-2 acceleration are connected with the formula
F ma , determine the acceleration if a force of 2 kN was imposed on a mass of 1000 kg.
1 2
mv , where m is the mass in kg and v is the velocity in
2
ms-1. Determine the mass if it is being hurled vertically up with a velocity of 20 ms-1 and a
kinetic energy of 1000 Joule.

3.

Given the kinetic energy as K

4.

Three resistor R1, R2 and R3 are connected in parallel in an electrical circuit. Determine the
total resistance RT, using the formula below:
1
1
1
1

RT R1 R2 R3

(a) Calculate RT, if R1 = 5 , R2 = 10 and R3 = 30 .


(b) Calculate R2, if RT = 1 , R1 = 2 and R3 = 6 .

Answer for Exercise 1:


1.

a)

c)

9bc 2a 2
6abc

2y 1
3 xy

p2
e)
2( p q)
g)

w2
6t

2m 1
m(m 1)

b)

15
2 xy

d)
f)

2
9x

h)

x( x y )
6y2

0.028m

2.
3.
4.

a 2ms 2
m 5kg
23

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BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

5.

a) 3
b) 3

1.4

Solve the Quadratic Equations Using Factorization, Formulas And Completing The
Squares.

QUADRATIC EQUATION
A Quadratic equation in a unknown (variable) is one equation have one unknown only and his
unknown's supreme power is 2.

ROOT OF A QUADRATIC EQUATION


Root of a quadratic equation can be found by using three methods:
a) Factorization
b) Quadratic formula
c) Completing the square

a.

Factorization

Example:
Solve the quadratic equations below, using factorization method.
a) 2x2 + 13x + 10 = 0
b) 6x2 20 = 2x
c) 3x = - 6x2
Solution:
a) Given: 2 x 2 13x 10 0
Then: (2 x 3)( x 5) 0

x3 0
x 3
b) Given:
Then:

x5 0
x 5

6 x 2 20 2 x

6 x 2 2 x 20 0
(3x 5)(2 x 4) 0

3x 5 0
5
x
3
24

or
or

or
or

2x 4 0
x 2

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BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1
3x 6 x 2

c) Given:

6 x 2 3x 0
x(6 x 3) 0

Then:

x0
b.

x 3

or

Quadratic formula

If quadratic equation given by form ax 2 bx c 0 , then value x can find through quadratic
formula, x

b b 2 4ac
2a

Example:
Solve quadratic equation using quadratic formula method
a. 9 x 2 21x 18 0
b. 2 x 2 17 x 35
c. 5x 2 4 x 2 0
Solution:
9 x 2 21x 18 0

a.

Thus:

a = 9, b = 21 and c = -18

21 212 49 18
x
29

25

21 441 648
18

21 1089
18

21 33
18

21 33
18

or

12
18

54
18

or

21 33
18

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BASIC ALGEBRA

2
3

So,

or

2 x 2 17 x 35

b.

BA101/CHAPTER 1

then: 2 x 2 17 x 35 0

a=2, b=-17, and c=35

(17) 17 2 4(2)(35)
2(2)

17 289 280
4

17 9
4

17 3
4

17 3
4

or

x 5 or

17 3
4

7
2

5x 2 4 x 2 0

c.

26

(4) 4 2 45 2
25

4 16 40
10

4 56
10

4 7.48
10

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BASIC ALGEBRA
x

4 7.48
10

11.48
10
x 1.148 or
x

c)

BA101/CHAPTER 1

or

4 7.48
10

or

3.48
10

0.348

Completing the square

Example
Solve the quadratic equation using completing the square
a) 4x2 + 5 = -9x
b) x2 = 4x + 4
c) 2x2 +4x 8=0

Solution
a)
Given 4x2 + 5 = -9x
Step 1: Arrange to the form into ax 2 bx c
4 x 2 9 x 5

Divide with 4 to make the coefficient of x2 equal to 1

Step 2:

4x 2 9x
5

4
4
4
9x
5
x2

4
4
9 1
9
Step 3:
Add ( ) 2 ( ) 2 to both sides
4 2
8
x2

9x 9 2
5 9
( ) ( )2
4
8
4 8

9
5 9
(x )2 ( )2
8
4 8

80 81
64

9
1
(x )2
8
64
27

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BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

9
1
(x )
8
64
1

8
9 1
9 1
or x
x
8 8
8 8
8
10
or x
x
8
8

x 1

b)

Given

or x

5
4

4x2 = 4x + 4

Step 1:

Arrange to the form into ax 2 bx c


4x2 4x = 4

Step 2:

Divided by 4 to make the coefficient of x2 equal to 1

4x 2 4x 4

4
4 4
x2 x = 1

Step 3:

1
1
Add (1 ) 2 ( ) 2 to both sides
2
2
1
1
x2 x ( )2 1 ( )2
2
2
1
1
(x )2 1
2
4

28

5
4

1
5

2
4

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BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

1
5

2
4

x 0.5 1.118
x 0.5 1.118

or

x 1.618

x 0.618

or

x 0.5 1.118

c) Given 2x2+4x-8 =0
Step 1:

Arrange to the form into ax 2 bx c


2x2 + 4x = 8

Step 2:

Divided by 2 to make the coefficient of x2 equal to 1

2x 2 4x 8

2
2 2
x 2 2x 4

Step 3:

1
Add (2 ) 2 (1) 2 to both sides
2
x 2 2 x 12 4 12

( x 1) 2 5
x 1 5
x 1 5

x 1 2.236

or x 1 2.236
x 1 2.236
or
x 3.236
x 1.236
Exercise:
1. Solve quadratic equation
i. by factoring
(a) x 2 6 x 8 0
(b) 3x 2 14 x 5 0
(c) 3x 2 13x 4 0
ii.
29

by quadratic formula
Prepared By : Lim Yeong Chyng

BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

(a) 2 x 2 6 x 1 0
(b) 5x 2 3x 9 0
1
(c) x 2 9 x 10
2

iii.

by completing the square


(a) x 2 6 x 7 0
(b) 2 x 2 6 x 0
(c) 3x 2 6 x 12 0

Answer:
1. i.

By factoring
(a)
x 2, x 4
(b)

1
x , x 5
3

(c)

1
x , x 4
3

ii. By quadratic formula


(a)
(b)
(c)

iii.

x 2.823, x 0.177
x 1.075, x 1.675

x 1.05, x 19.05

By completing the square

(a) x 7, x 1
(b) x 3, x 0
(c) x 1.236, x 3.236

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Prepared By : Lim Yeong Chyng

BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

1.5 To solve Simultaneous Linear Equation with two variables using the Elimination and
Subtitution Methods.
A linear equation is an equation in one or more variables where each term's degree is not
more than 1. That means a variable x may appear, but neither any higher power of x, such as
x2, nor any product of variables, such as xy, may appear. It has to be a pretty simple equation
such as ax + by + cz = d ( Example :
3x + 2y - 5z = 8 ). Any other equation in other
degree is known as a non-linear equation.
A system is just a collection of such linear equations, and to solve a system, look for the values
of the variables which make all the equations true simultaneously. For instance, if x and y are
the variables, then an example system of linear equations is
5x - 2y = 4
x + 2y = 8
There are various ways of solving this system, and they lead to the unique solution where x = 2
and y = 3. We'll look next at two common algorithm for solving systems of simultaneous
equations called substitution and elimination.

Substitution method
This method is used when one of the variables is the subject of the equation and the
coefficient of the variables is 1.
Example:
m 2n

a)

and

mn 9

b) x 2 y 3 and 2 x 3 y 7

Steps for the substitution method:


Step 1:

Express one variable in terms of the other variable by rearranging one of the
equations.

Step 2:

Substitute the expression into the other equation.

Step 3:

Solve the value of the chosen variable from the resulting equation.

Step 4:

Find the value of the other variable.

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Prepared By : Lim Yeong Chyng

BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

Example 1
Given a linear equation of :
Use y as subject.
Solution:

3x 4y = 24

3x 4y = 24
4y = 24 3x
y = 24 3x
4

Example 2
Solve the linear equations below, using the substitution method.
2x y = 7
3x + 2y = 14

(1)
(2)

Let the equations to be


equation (1) and (2) for
easy reference.

Solution:
Step 1 :
Choose equation (1), and use y as the subject.
2x y = 7
y = 7 2x
y = 7 + 2x (3)
Step 2 :
Substitute equation (3) into equation (2).
3x + 2y
= 14
3x + 2 (-7 + 2x) = 14
3x 14 + 4x
= 14
7x = 14 + 14
7x = 28
x = 28
7

So,

x=4

Step 3 :
Substitute the value x = 4 from step (2), into equation (3).
y = 7 + 2(4)
= 7 + 8
y=1
Thus, x = 4 and y = 1.

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Prepared By : Lim Yeong Chyng

BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

Example 3
Solve the simultaneous equations below, using the substitution method.
3x 2 y 5

2 x 5 y 12

Solution:
Let,

3x 2 y 5 ..(1)
2 x 5 y 12 (2)

Let us choose equation (2) and use variable y as the subject.


2x + 5y = 12
5y = 12 2x
y

12 2 x ..(3)
5

Substitute y 12 2 x into equation (1) and solve the value of x.


5

3x 2

12 2 x
5

Multiplies 5 to both sides of the


equation to eliminate the
denominator 5.

15x 24 4 x 25

19 x = 25 + 24
= 49
x=
Then substitute the value of

49
19

x = 49 into equation (3)


19

y =

12 2 x
5
49
12 2
19
5

=
=

33

12

98
19

5
228 98
19
5

Prepared By : Lim Yeong Chyng

BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1
=

130 1

19 5

= 130
y =

95
26
19

26
Therefore, value of x = 49 and value of y =
19

19

Elimination method
This method is suitable when the substitution method involves an awkward fraction. To
eliminate, remove one of the variables to give an equation with only one variable.
Example:
x

2y 5
5

and 2 x y 8

Steps involved in elimination method of solution:


Step 1:

If necessary, multiply either one or both equations by a suitable non-zero number to


make the coefficients of one of the variable equal.

Step 2:

Add or subtract the equations to eliminate one of the variables.

Step 3:

Solve the resulting equation in one unknown.

Step 4:

Find the value of the other variable by substitution.

Example 1
Solve the linear equations below:
xy=2
x+y=6
Solution
x y = 2 .(1)
x + y = 6 .(2)
Step 1 :
Choose the variable to be eliminated. Multiply the equation with any suitable number, so that
the variables coefficient to be eliminated is the same.
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Prepared By : Lim Yeong Chyng

BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

For this example, variable x is selected to be elimunated. Therefore equation (1) (2):

Equation (1) (2):


x y = 2
() x + y = 6
_____________
2y =4
y = 4
2

y=2

Step 2 :
Then substitute the value of

y = 2 into the equation (1) to obtain of value x.

x 2 = 2
= 2 + 2
x=4
Therefore, value x = 4 and y = 2

Example 2
Using the Elimination Method, solve the linear equations below:
2x y = 7
3x + 2y = 14
Solution:
2x y = 7..(1)
3x + 2y = 14..(2)

Choose the variable y for elimination. Therefore, equation (1) needs to multiply
with 2.
Equation (1) 2 : 4x 2y = 14..(3)
3x + 2y = 14.(2)
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Prepared By : Lim Yeong Chyng

BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

Add equation (3) to equation (2) for the elimination of variable y.


Equation (3) + (2):

7x = 28
x=

So,

28
7

x=4

Substitute x = 4 into equation (2), to obtain the value for y :


Equation (2):
3x + 2y = 14
3(4) + 2y = 14
12 + 2y = 14
2y = 14 12
y=2
2

y = 1
Exercise
1. Solve the simultaneous linear equations below, using substitution method.
x y 3 and 2 x 3 y 1
2. Solve the simultaneous linear equations below, using elimination method.
2m 3n 7 and 2m 5n 9
3. Solve the simultaneous linear equations below:
(a)
x 2y 1
2 y 3x 5

(b) 5 y 2 x 3
2 y 3x 4

(c)

x 2y 5

2x y 6

(d)

2x y 9
3x y 4

(e)

2x 5 y 4
3x y 7

(f)

36

2d 3e 4
5d 2e 1

Prepared By : Lim Yeong Chyng

BASIC ALGEBRA

BA101/CHAPTER 1

Answer:
1. x 2, y 1
2. m 2, n 1
3.
(a) x 1, y 1
14
17
,y
19
19
7
4
(c) x , y
3
3
(d) x 1, y 7

(b) x

(e) x 3, y 2
(f) d 1, e 2

37

Prepared By : Lim Yeong Chyng