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Each fruit symbol stands for a missing number and has the same value each

time it occurs. Work out the value of each fruit.


Simultaneous equations
+ +
+
+
+ + =15
+ = 11
+ = 20
+
= 1
+ + + = 22
= 25
CHAPTER 8
In this chapter you will learn how to:
solve simple simultaneous equations by inspection
solve harder simultaneous equations by algebraic elimination
solve simultaneous equations by graphical methods
solve problems using simultaneous equations.
You will also be challenged to:
investigate magic squares.
Starter: Fruity numbers
126
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8.1 Solving simultaneous equations by inspection
Sometimes you need to solve a pair of equations such as:
5x 2y 19
5x 3y 21
These are called simultaneous equations. The idea is to find a value for x and a
matching value for y so that both equations are true together.
The method of inspection requires you to look at the two equations and spot
any obvious slight differences between them. It should be used only for simple
problems.
EXAMPLE
Solve the simultaneous equations:
5x 2y 19
5x 3y 21
SOLUTION
First, label the two equations as (1) and (2). Then compare them.
5x 2y 19 (1)
5x 3y 21 (2)
By inspection, y 2
Now substitute this value into equation (1):
5x 2 2 19
5x 4 19
5x 19 4
5x 15
x 3
So the final solution pair is x 3 and y 2
You can check your answer by substituting these values into the other equation,
i.e. number (2):
5x 3y 5 3 3 2 15 6 21 as required.
8.1 Solving simultaneous equations by inspection
127
You can see that equation (2) has an extra y on the
left, and a total of 2 more on the right (21 19)
Your answer should give values for
both x and y.
Checking is a very good habit.
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EXAMPLE
Solve the simultaneous equations: 3x y 7
5x y 5
SOLUTION
3x y 7 (1)
5x y 5 (2)
By inspection, 2x 2, so x 1.
Now substitute this value into equation (1) to obtain:
3 (1) y 7
3 y 7
y 7 3
y 10
So the final solution pair is x 1 and y 10.
Check by substituting these values into equation (2):
5x y 5 (1) 10 5 10 5 as required.
EXERCISE 8.1
Solve these problems using the method of inspection. Write out all the stages clearly, as in the examples
above.
1 3x 4y 16 2 x 4y 15 3 3x y 3 4 4x 2y 6
3x 5y 17 x 5y 18 4x y 2 5x 2y 5
5 x 8y 4 6 6x y 9 7 5x 3y 47 8 2x y 7
x 10y 6 5x y 7 7x 3y 67 4x y 13
9 x 2y 3 10 5x 3y 20
x 3y 1 5x 4y 20
8.2 Solving simultaneous equations by algebraic
elimination
This method is used for most problems, if the answer is not obvious by
inspection. The idea is to multiply one, or both, of the equations by a suitable
multiplier, until they have a matching number of xs (or ys).
There are two variants of the elimination method, depending on the signs
involved.
If the matching terms are the same, but one is positive and the other is negative,
then you use the addition method. If, however, they are both positive or both
negative, then you use the subtraction method instead. A useful rule is DASS:
Different, Add; Same, Subtract!
Chapter 8: Simultaneous equations
128
Equation (2) has an extra 2x on the left but is
2 less (7 5) on the right, so 2x 2.
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EXAMPLE
Solve the simultaneous equations:
2x y 8
x 3y 11
SOLUTION
2x y 8 (1)
x 3y 11 (2)
(1) 3: 6x 3y 24 (3)
(2) 1: x 3y 11 (4)
Adding: 7x 35
x 35 7
x 5
Now substitute this value into equation (1) to obtain:
2 (5) y 8
10 y 8
2 y 0
y 2
So the solution is x 5 and y 2
Check by substituting these values into equation (2):
x 3y (5) 3 (2) 5 6 11 as required.
EXAMPLE
Solve the simultaneous equations:
7x 2y 24
5x 3y 25
SOLUTION
7x 2y 24 (1)
5x 3y 25 (2)
(1) 3: 21x 6y 72 (3)
(2) 2: 10x 6y 50 (4)
Subtracting: 11x 22
x 22 11
x 2
8.2 Solving simultaneous equations by algebraic elimination
129
Look at the y terms. If you multiply equation (1)
by 3 then they will both contain 3y.
Look at the y terms. If you multiply equation (1) by 3
and equation (2) by 2 then they will both contain 6y.
The matching parts are 3y and 3y.
One of these is positive and the other negative, so you use the
addition method.
When you add 3y and 3y together there are no ys left at all.
The matching parts are 6y and 6y.
These are both positive, so you use the subtraction method.
When you subtract 6y from 6y there are no ys left at all.
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Now substitute this value into equation (1) to obtain:
7 (2) 2y 24
14 2y 24
2y 24 14
2y 10
y 5
So the solution is x 2 and y 5
Check by substituting these values into equation (2):
5x 3y 5 (2) 3 (5) 10 15 25 as required.
Take care when subtracting a quantity that is negative to begin with; a double
minus generates a plus in this case.
EXAMPLE
Solve the simultaneous equations:
x 2y 4
5x 7y 3
SOLUTION
x 2y 4 (1)
5x 7y 4 (2)
(1) 5: 5x 10y 20 (3)
(2): 5x 7y 3 (4)
Subtracting: 17y 17
y 1
Now substitute this value into equation (1) to obtain:
x 2 (1) 4
x 2 4
x 4 2
x 2
So the solution is x 2 and y 1
Check by substituting these values into equation (2):
5x 7y 5 (2) 7 (1) 10 7 3 as required.
This final example shows the subtraction method applied again, this time when
both the matching terms are negative.
Chapter 8: Simultaneous equations
130
10y 7y gives 10y 7y 17y
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EXAMPLE
Solve the simultaneous equations:
5x 2y 25
4x 3y 13
SOLUTION
5x 2y 25 (1)
4x 3y 13 (2)
(1) 3: 15x 6y 75 (3)
(2) 2: 8x 6y 26 (4)
Subtracting: 7x 49
x 49 7
x 7
Now substitute this value into equation (1) to obtain
5 (7) 2y 25
35 2y 25
10 2y 0
2y 10
y 5
So the solution is x 7 and y 5
Check by substituting these values into equation (2):
4x 3y 4 (7) 3 (5) 28 15 13 as required.
EXERCISE 8.2
Solve questions 1 to 8 using the algebraic addition method. Write out all the stages clearly, as in the worked
examples above.
1 4x 2y 22 2 x 3y 4 3 5x y 9 4 x y 1
3x 2y 6 4x 3y 1 3x 2y 8 4x 3y 11
5 2x 5y 20 6 3x 2y 5 7 x 2y 9 8 3x 4y 8
x 2y 1 5x 4y 1 2x 3y 4 11x 5y 10
Solve questions 9 to 16 using the algebraic subtraction method, showing all your working clearly.
9 2x y 6 10 2x 3y 13 11 9x 2y 5 12 4x 3y 5
x 3y 13 x 2y 8 3x y 1 x y 1
13 3x 2y 2 14 x 4y 2 15 6x y 4 16 x 4y 10
5x 3y 3 2x 5y 10 2x 3y 28 2x 7y 18
8.2 Solving simultaneous equations by algebraic elimination
131
Look at the y terms. If you multiply equation (1) by 3
and equation (2) by 2 then they will both contain 6y.
The matching parts are 6y and 6y.
These are both negative, so you use the subtraction method.
When you subtract 6y from 6y there are no ys left at all.
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Solve questions 17 to 32 using algebra. For each question you will have to decide whether the addition method
or the subtraction method is appropriate. Remember to show all the stages of your working.
17 2x 3y 9 18 x y 5 19 6x y 18 20 4x y 1
x y 2 4x 3y 19 7x 2y 2 3x 4y 9
21 x 2y 5 22 3x 6y 9 23 x y 0 24 2x y 10
3x 4y 10 x 2y 9 x y 6 x 11y 5
25 14x 3y 7 26 3x 4y 3 27 5x 3y 1 28 3x 8y 22
5x 2y 24 x 6y 12 7x 5y 1 2x 12y 23
29 3x 2y 33 30 x y 4 31 5x 3y 34 32 x 4y 18
2x 3y 4 4x 6y 21 7x 4y 47 2x 5y 21
8.3 Solving simultaneous equations by a graphical
method
This method is quick and simple it is particularly effective if the answers are
whole numbers. When they are decimals, however, it becomes less accurate
than the algebraic method.
EXAMPLE
Solve, graphically, the simultaneous equations:
4x y 6
5x 4y 18
SOLUTION
Consider, first, the equation 4x y 6.
When x 0 then 4x y 6, giving y 6.
Thus the graph passes through (0, 6).
When y 0 then 4x y 6, giving x 1.5.
Thus the graph passes through (1.5, 0).
Chapter 8: Simultaneous equations
132
1 1 2 3 4
2
4
2
4
6
8
O
y
x
4x y 6
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Next, consider the second equation, 5x 4y 18.
When x 0 then 5x 4y 18, giving y 4.5.
Thus the graph passes through (0, 4.5).
When y 0 then 5x 4y 18, giving x 3.6.
Thus the graph passes through (3.6, 0).
Adding this line to the previous graph, we obtain
this graph:
The solution occurs where these two lines cross.
From the graph, this can be read off as x 2, y 2
EXERCISE 8.3
For each of these questions draw a set of coordinate axes on squared paper (or graph paper). Draw the lines
corresponding to each equation, and hence solve the simultaneous equations graphically.
1 3x y 6 2 x y 10 3 x 2y 10
x y 4 y 2x 2 2x y 14
4 x y 6 5 2x 3y 18 6 y x 2
2x y 12 x y 7 x y 10
7 y x 1 8 x 4y 14
x y 7 3x y 3
8.4 Setting up and solving problems using
simultaneous equations
Although many exam questions on simultaneous equations will already be set
up for you, it is important that you learn how to set them up when needed. This
section shows you how to formulate such problems, which can then be solved
by the algebraic method.
8.4 Setting up and solving problems using simultaneous equations
133
1 1 2 3 4
2
4
6
2
4
6
8
O
y
x
4x y 6
5x 4y 18
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EXAMPLE
A theatre has two different ticket prices, one for adults and another for children.
A party of 6 adults and 10 children costs 38, while for 5 adults and
12 children the cost is 39.
a) Write this information as two simultaneous equations.
b) Solve your equations to find the cost of an adult ticket and the cost of a
child ticket.
SOLUTION
a) Let the cost of an adult ticket be x, and that of a childs ticket, y.
6x 10y 38
5x 12y 39
b) Multiplying the first equation by 6
and the second by 5, we obtain:
36x 60y 228
25x 60y 195
Subtracting:
11x 33
x 33 11
x 3
EXERCISE 8.4
Use simultaneous equations to help you solve the following problems. Remember to show all your working
carefully.
1 A clothes shop is having a sale. All the shirts are reduced to one price. All the jackets are reduced to a
single price as well, though they remain more expensive than the shirts. Arthur buys 10 shirts and
3 jackets, and pays 104. Alan buys 4 shirts and one jacket, and pays 38.
a) Write two simultaneous equations to express this information.
b) Solve your equations, to find the price of a shirt and the price of a jacket.
2 A hire company has a fleet of coaches and minibuses. Three coaches and four minibuses can carry
180 passengers, while five coaches and two minibuses can carry 230 passengers.
a) Write two simultaneous equations to express this information.
b) How many passengers can one coach carry?
3 A mathematics teacher buys some books for her A-level and IGCSE students. A-level books cost 10
each, and IGCSE books 15 each. She spends a total of 1800, buying a total of 160 books in all.
a) Write two simultaneous equations to express this information, defining your symbols clearly.
b) Solve your equations to find how many of each type of book she buys.
Chapter 8: Simultaneous equations
134
Remember to define the symbols you are going to use
. then use them to represent the given information.
Substituting back into the first equation, we have:
6 (3) 10y 38
18 10y 38
10y 38 18
10y 20
y 2
Thus an adult ticket costs 3 and a childs ticket costs 2.
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4 A shop sells tins of paint in 2 litre and 5 litre cans. The manager checks the amount of paint he has in
stock, and finds that there are 500 cans altogether. These cans hold a total of 1420 litres of paint.
a) Write two simultaneous equations to express this information. Explain the meaning of the symbols
you use.
b) Solve your equations to find the number of each size of can in stock.
5 A plant stall at a school fete sells tomato plants and pepper plants. Martin buys two tomato plants and four
pepper plants for 2.50, while Suzy buys five tomato plants and three pepper plants for 3.10. Work out
the cost of each type of plant.
REVIEW EXERCISE 8
Solve these simultaneous equations by inspection.
1 3x 4y 24 2 x 5y 16 3 5x 2y 5 4 8x 3y 11
3x 5y 27 x 2y 16 3x 2y 7 8x 7y 15
Solve these by the elimination (addition or subtraction) method.
5 x 3y 7 6 6x y 11 7 3x 2y 13 8 3x 4y 5
4x y 17 4x 5y 3 4x 3y 6 2x 5y 8
9 x 2y 6 10 3x 4y 8 11 2x 3y 13 12 5x 4y 4
x 2y 4 5x 6y 13 10x y 1 x 2y 5
13 The diagram shows part of the graph of 2x y 11.
a) Make a copy of this graph on squared paper or graph paper.
b) On the same diagram, plot the graph of the line 4x 5y 40.
c) Hence solve the simultaneous equations 2x y 11, 4x 5y 40.
Review exercise 8
135
2 4 6 8 10
2
4
6
8
10
12
O
y
x
2x y 11
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14 The diagram shows part of the graph of 2x 3y 18.
a) Make a copy of this graph on squared paper or graph paper.
b) On the same diagram, plot the graph of the line y x 1.
c) Hence solve the simultaneous equations y x 1, 2x 3y 18.
15 Use a graphical method to solve the simultaneous equations:
5x 3y 30
y x 2
16 At a seaside drinks stall you can buy cans of cola and cans or orange drink. Five cans of cola and one can
of orange cost 2.07. Two cans of cola and three cans of orange cost 1.66.
a) Using x to represent the cost of a can of cola and y to represent the cost of a can of orange, in pence,
write this information as two simultaneous equations.
b) Solve your equations to find the cost of each type of drink.
17 A potter is making cups and saucers. Each cup takes c minutes to produce, and each saucer takes s
minutes. The potter can produce three cups and two saucers in 19 minutes, while it would take exactly half
an hour to produce four cups and five saucers.
a) Write this information as two simultaneous equations.
b) Solve your equations, to find the values of c and s.
c) How long would it take to produce a set of 6 cups and 6 saucers?
18 A phone network charges x pence per minute for telephone calls, and y pence for each text message sent.
100 minutes and 50 texts cost 4, while 150 minutes and 100 texts cost 6.50.
a) Write this information as two simultaneous equations.
b) Solve your equations to find the values of x and y.
c) How much would it cost for 300 minutes and 50 texts?
19 Solve the simultaneous equations:
4x y 8
2x 3y 11 [Edexcel]
20 Solve:
2x 3y 11
5x 2y 18 [Edexcel]
Chapter 8: Simultaneous equations
136
2 4 6 8 10
2
4
6
O
y
x
2x 3y 18
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Key points
137
Key points
1 Easy simultaneous equations may be solved by inspection. This method works well
if the two equations are almost the same, and you can then examine the slight
differences between them for clues to the values of the unknown quantities.
2 In practice, the most frequently used method is that of algebraic elimination.
Multiply one or both of the equations by a suitable scaling factor, so the x (or y)
coefficients are numerically the same in both equations. If the matching
coefficients are one positive and one negative then you add the two equations to
achieve the elimination. If they are both positive, or both negative, then you must
subtract one equation from the other instead. Remember DASS:
3 The graphical method of solution can be quite neat, but it is not reliable if the
solutions are not whole numbers or simple decimals.
Different sign
Add
Same sign
Subtract
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Chapter 8: Simultaneous equations
138
Internet Challenge 8
Magic squares
In a magic square each row, column and diagonal adds up to the same total, known as the square constant.
Here is a 3 by 3 magic square, with a square constant of 15.
1 Try to make a 4 by 4 magic square using the numbers 1 to 16. The square constant will be 34. (This is
quite difficult!)
2 Use the internet to find a picture of Albrecht Drers engraving Melancholia. What do you find in the
top right corner of the picture?
3 Magic squares with an odd number of rows/columns are much easier to make than those with an even
number of rows. Use the internet to find a procedure for making odd-sized magic squares. Then use the
procedure to make:
a) a 5 by 5 magic square
b) an 11 by 11 magic square.
4 An 8 by 8 magic square was constructed by Benjamin Franklin in the nineteenth century.
a) Use the internet to find a copy of Franklins 8 by 8 square, and print it out.
b) Using a red pen, join the numbers 1, 2, 3, , 16 using a set of straight lines. Now do the same for
the numbers 17, 18, 19, , 32. What do you notice?
c) Using a blue pen, join the numbers 33, 34, 35, , 48 using a set of straight lines. Now do the same
for the numbers 49, 50, 51, , 64. What do you notice?
d) Try to find out some other interesting properties of Franklins square.
e) Find out a little about the life and achievements of Benjamin Franklin.
5 The image to the right shows the worlds oldest known magic square.
a) By what name is this square known?
b) Approximately when does it date from?
4 9 2
3 5 7
8 1 6
4 3 8 15
4 9 2 15
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