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Let's just do one and you'll see how it works:

See how these guys are the same,


but with a different sign?

If we add the two equations -- straight down, those x critters are going to drop
right out!

Just add "like terms" and drag the "=" down to:

We've got one of them... Now, we just need to get the x. To do this, you can stick
the y into either of the original equations...

The second equation is easier:

It looks like the answer is (1, 6).


Check it! (In BOTH equations!)

TRY IT:Solve by elimination:

* Notice that the y is ready to drop out!

Most of the time they aren't set up that nicely. You'll usually have to do a little
dinking before something will drop out.

Look at this one:

If we just add straight down, nothing's going to drop out and we'll just get a mess.

But, check out the y guys:

If we could make this a +4y,


the y's would drop out...

So, let's do it! Remember that we can multiply an equation by a number... So, let's
multiply the second equation by a -2:
Remember to hit each guy!

Now, stick the x guy into either of the original equations. I'm going to go for the
first one:

The answer is(-1, )


Check it - and don't let that fraction freak you... These things happen!

Sometimes, you'll have to make adjustments to both equations to get something


to drop out. When possible, always go after the easier numbers!

Let's do this one:


We want to make these 10x and -10x:

Remember to hit each guy!

* It's easy to forget the last guys.

Let's stick y = 0 into the first equation:

The answer is (4, 0).

* Use your head... Which numbers are easier?


Let's do another one where we get a bit of a head start:

Notice that one equation is solved for x...

Let's stick that x blob into the other equation in place of x:

This gives us

OK, we've got y... Now, we need x... See the circled blob above?

Stick it in there! ( That's why I circled it! )


Is our answer (7, 5) ? Let's check...
and you have to check it in BOTH equations!

So, the answer is (7, 5).

TRY IT:
Solve by substitution:

OK, let's do one all the way from the beginning:

We've got to rewrite one of these equations so it's like

y = x stuff or x = y stuff
And here's the key to making your life happier:

You don't want fractions!


If possible, you want to pick a guy to solve for that doesn't create fractions.

Check it out:

If we solve for this guy... it's nice and clean!


Now, you stick this guy

into circled guy!

I think we've got it... (3, 5)... I'll let you check it! * In both equations!

Let's go back and look at the way we started that problem again:

What if we'd solved for this guy instead?


Oh, please... Don't make me go on!

That thing got brutal fast!

So, if you can, always solve for a guy with no coefficient in front...

Go for an x or -x or y or -y.

In my opinion, problems like this guy

Should be done with the method in the next section.

TRY IT:
Solve by substitution: