**Introduction**

Algebraic equations are the basic equations in Algebra. They are used to solve many of our daily problems. When you go shopping, you have a certain amount of money, you try to find out how many pounds of strawberries can you buy with your money; you are solving a quick algebraic equation in your brain. Algebraic equations contain variables, which represent a certain number that you don't know. An algebraic equation contains different arithmetic operations, numbers, and variables. The idea of an equation means that the left side of the equal sign must equal the right side of the equal side. You can think of an equation as a scale. To keep your scale balanced, if you add something or take away something from one side you must do the same to the other side.

**What Does Solving an Equation Means?**

The picture at the right shows an example of a simple algebraic equation. The equation contains a variable (unknown) x, and some constants (known numbers). When you hear your teacher say solve the equation, she means find the value of X that will make the number sentence true. So you think to yourself, "ok what number when you add three to it you get thirteen? it must be 10" so you say x=10. To make sure you got your answer correct you check by putting in 10 for x and see your "scale" will still be balanced.