LESSON 2: What does ‘equation’ mean?
 Introduction to Elementary AlgebraHelp on solving algebra math problemsSimple step by step method
An equation looks like this And your main goal is to solve the equation so you get the
value of the x (not known at this time) that makes the
formula correct.

You will learn later that the correct answer in this case is: If you replace x by 11 in the above equation you will get

3 times 11 less 4                     =                      7 plus 2 times 11
(left side of the equation)                      (right side of the equation)

Which is the same as

29 = 29       True isn’t it?

Let’s start from the very beginning.

Looking at the equation, we don’t know the value of ‘x’ but we know one
important thing:

The LEFT side is EQUAL to the RIGHT side, and we have to believe this
and move on with our lives.
this side                  is equal to                 this side

Now we arrive at the first confusion about equations: Both sides are equal
“in value” only, not the way they look in the paper.

This is similar as stating:  this side            is equal to    this side

Very easy to believe because you know that

2 plus 3 adds 5, even if

2 + 3 is written differently than the number 5.

The ‘=’ sign is saying both sides are equal in value not in appearance.

So, when you get an equation to solve, you start by believing that the equal
sign is telling the absolute truth: both sides are equal in value.