• What is the difference between an expression and an equation?


    An expression does not have an equal value assigned to it.

    Ex:  3 + 4   and   7 x 5    are both expressions.


    An equation has an equal value assigned to it.

    Ex:   3 + 4 = 7   and    7 x 5 = 30     are both equations.

    The value on either side of the equal sign (=) must be the same.


    Here is how it looks when using a balance scale to model it.

    equation balance       Balance


     Click here for an interactive tutorial for how to use a balance scale to solve equations.


    Here are some examples of equation solutions that contain variables (unknown numbers or values):

     equation3   equation4    equation6

    When a number sits directly against a variable (such as 25c), it represents multiplication (25 x c).



Algebraic Reasoning Vocabulary

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