# Solving Linear Equation Word Problems

We can see the two graphs intercept at the point $$(4,2)$$. Push ENTER one more time, and you will get the point of intersection on the bottom! Substitution is the favorite way to solve for many students!This means that the numbers that work for both equations is We can see the two graphs intercept at the point $$(4,2)$$. It involves exactly what it says: substituting one variable in another equation so that you only have one variable in that equation.Let’s let $$j=$$ the number of pair of jeans, $$d=$$ the number of dresses, and $$s=$$ the number of pairs of shoes we should buy.

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(You can also use the WINDOW button to change the minimum and maximum values of your $$x$$ and $$y$$ values.) TRACE” (CALC), and then either push 5, or move cursor down to intersect. The reason it’s most useful is that usually in real life we don’t have one variable in terms of another (in other words, a “$$y=$$” situation).

The main purpose of the linear combination method is to add or subtract the equations so that one variable is eliminated.

It’s easier to put in $$j$$ and $$d$$ so we can remember what they stand for when we get the answers.

There are several ways to solve systems; we’ll talk about graphing first.

Push $$Y=$$ and enter the two equations in $$=$$ and $$=$$, respectively. When you get the answer for $$j$$, plug this back in the easier equation to get $$d$$: $$\displaystyle d=-(4) 6=2$$. You’ll want to pick the variable that’s most easily solved for.

Note that we don’t have to simplify the equations before we have to put them in the calculator. You may need to hit “ZOOM 6” (Zoom Standard) and/or “ZOOM 0” (Zoom Fit) to make sure you see the lines crossing in the graph. Let’s try another substitution problem that’s a little bit different: Probably the most useful way to solve systems is using linear combination, or linear elimination.Always write down what your variables will be: equations as shown below.Notice that the $$j$$ variable is just like the $$x$$ variable and the $$d$$ variable is just like the $$y$$.In this type of problem, you would also have/need something like this: .Now, since we have the same number of equations as variables, we can potentially get one solution for the system.This will help us decide what variables (unknowns) to use.What we want to know is how many pairs of jeans we want to buy (let’s say “$$j$$”) and how many dresses we want to buy (let’s say “$$d$$”).The easiest way for the second equation would be the intercept method; when we put for the “$$d$$” intercept.We can do this for the first equation too, or just solve for “$$d$$”.When there is only one solution, the system is called independent, since they cross at only one point.When equations have infinite solutions, they are the same equation, are consistent, and are called dependent or coincident (think of one just sitting on top of the other).

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