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Use the formula I = P r t to find the principal, P :

when I = $ 5,400 , r = 12 % , t = 5 years in general

$9,000 P = I r t

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Later in this class, and in future algebra classes, you’ll encounter equations that relate two variables, usually x and y . You might be given an equation that is solved for y and need to solve it for x , or vice versa. In the following example, we’re given an equation with both x and y on the same side and we’ll solve it for y .

Solve the formula 3 x + 2 y = 18 for y :

when x = 4 in general

Solution

when x = 4 in general
. .
Substitute. .
Subtract to isolate the
y -term.
. Subtract to isolate the
y -term.
.
Divide. . Divide. .
Simplify. . Simplify. .
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Solve the formula 3 x + 4 y = 10 for y :

when x = 14 3 in general

y = 1 y = 10 3 x 4

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Solve the formula 5 x + 2 y = 18 for y:

when x = 4 in general

y = −1 y = 18 5 x 2

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In Examples 1.60 through 1.64 we used the numbers in part as a guide to solving in general in part . Now we will solve a formula in general without using numbers as a guide.

Solve the formula P = a + b + c for a .

Solution

We will isolate a on one side of the equation. .
Both b and c are added to a , so we subtract them from both sides of the equation. .
Simplify. .
.
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Solve the formula P = a + b + c for b .

b = P a c

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Solve the formula P = a + b + c for c .

c = P a b

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Solve the formula 6 x + 5 y = 13 for y.

Solution

.
Subtract 6 x from both sides to isolate the term with y . .
Simplify. .
Divide by 5 to make the coefficient 1. .
Simplify. .

The fraction is simplified. We cannot divide 13 6 x by 5.

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Solve the formula 4 x + 7 y = 9 for y.

y = 9 4 x 7

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Solve the formula 5 x + 8 y = 1 for y.

y = 1 5 x 8

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Key concepts

  • To Solve an Application (with a formula)
    1. Read the problem. Make sure all the words and ideas are understood.
    2. Identify what we are looking for.
    3. Name what we are looking for. Choose a variable to represent that quantity.
    4. Translate into an equation. Write the appropriate formula for the situation. Substitute in the given information.
    5. Solve the equation using good algebra techniques.
    6. Check the answer in the problem and make sure it makes sense.
    7. Answer the question with a complete sentence.
  • Distance, Rate and Time
    For an object moving at a uniform (constant) rate, the distance traveled, the elapsed time, and the rate are related by the formula: d = r t where d = distance, r = rate, t = time.
  • To solve a formula for a specific variable means to get that variable by itself with a coefficient of 1 on one side of the equation and all other variables and constants on the other side.

Practice makes perfect

Use the Distance, Rate, and Time Formula

In the following exercises, solve.

Steve drove for 8 1 2 hours at 72 miles per hour. How much distance did he travel?

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Socorro drove for 4 5 6 hours at 60 miles per hour. How much distance did she travel?

290 miles

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Yuki walked for 1 3 4 hours at 4 miles per hour. How far did she walk?

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Francie rode her bike for 2 1 2 hours at 12 miles per hour. How far did she ride?

30 miles

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Connor wants to drive from Tucson to the Grand Canyon, a distance of 338 miles. If he drives at a steady rate of 52 miles per hour, how many hours will the trip take?

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Megan is taking the bus from New York City to Montreal. The distance is 380 miles and the bus travels at a steady rate of 76 miles per hour. How long will the bus ride be?

5 hours

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Questions & Answers

4x+7y=29,x+3y=11 substitute method of linear equation
Srinu Reply
substitute method of linear equation
Srinu
Solve one equation for one variable. Using the 2nd equation, x=11-3y. Substitute that for x in first equation. this will find y. then use the value for y to find the value for x.
bruce
I want to learn
Elizebeth
help
Elizebeth
I want to learn. Please teach me?
Wayne
1) Use any equation, and solve for any of the variables. Since the coefficient of x (the number in front of the x) in the second equation is 1 (it actually isn't shown, but 1 * x = x), use that equation. Subtract 3y from both sides (this isolates the x on the left side of the equal sign).
bruce
2) This results in x=11-3y. x is note in terms of y. Use that as the value of x and substitute for all x in the first equation. The first equation becomes 4(11-3y)+7y =29. Note that the only variable left in the first equation is the y. If you have multiple variable, then something is wrong.
bruce
3) Distribute (multiply) the 4 across 11-3y to get 44-12y. Add this to the 7y. So, the equation is now 44-5y=29.
bruce
4) Solve 44-5y=29 for y. Isolate the y by subtracting 44 from birth sides, resulting in -5y=-15. Now, divide birth sides by -5 (since you have -5y). This results in y=3. You now have the value of one variable.
bruce
5) The last step is to take the value of y from Step 4) and substitute into the 2nd equation. Therefore: x+3y=11 becomes x+3(3)=11. Then multiplying, x+9=11. Finally, solve for x by subtracting 9 from both sides. Therefore, x=2.
bruce
6) The ordered pair of (2, 3) is the proposed solution. To check, substitute those values into either equation. If the result is true, then the solution is correct. 4(2)+7(3)=8+21=29. TRUE! Finished.
bruce
At 1:30 Marlon left his house to go to the beach, a distance of 5.625 miles. He rose his skateboard until 2:15, and then walked the rest of the way. He arrived at the beach at 3:00. Marlon's speed on his skateboard is 1.5 times his walking speed. Find his speed when skateboarding and when walking.
Andrew Reply
divide 3x⁴-4x³-3x-1 by x-3
Ritik Reply
how to multiply the monomial
Ceny Reply
Two sisters like to compete on their bike rides. Tamara can go 4 mph faster than her sister, Samantha. If it takes Samantha 1 hours longer than Tamara to go 80 miles, how fast can Samantha ride her bike? Got questions? Get instant answers now!
Seera Reply
how do u solve that question
Seera
Two sisters like to compete on their bike rides. Tamara can go 4 mph faster than her sister, Samantha. If it takes Samantha 1 hours longer than Tamara to go 80 miles, how fast can Samantha ride her bike?
Seera
Speed=distance ÷ time
Tremayne
x-3y =1; 3x-2y+4=0 graph
Juned Reply
Brandon has a cup of quarters and dimes with a total of 5.55$. The number of quarters is five less than three times the number of dimes
ashley Reply
app is wrong how can 350 be divisible by 3.
Raheem Reply
June needs 48 gallons of punch for a party and has two different coolers to carry it in. The bigger cooler is five times as large as the smaller cooler. How many gallons can each cooler hold?
Susanna Reply
Susanna if the first cooler holds five times the gallons then the other cooler. The big cooler holda 40 gallons and the 2nd will hold 8 gallons is that correct?
Georgie
@Susanna that person is correct if you divide 40 by 8 you can see it's 5 it's simple
Ashley
@Geogie my bad that was meant for u
Ashley
Hi everyone, I'm glad to be connected with you all. from France.
Lorris Reply
I'm getting "math processing error" on math problems. Anyone know why?
Ray Reply
Can you all help me I don't get any of this
Jade Reply
4^×=9
Alberto Reply
Did anyone else have trouble getting in quiz link for linear inequalities?
Sireka Reply
operation of trinomial
Justin Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Elementary algebra. OpenStax CNX. Jan 18, 2017 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12116/1.2
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