HERE is probably THE most important thing you need to leave prealgebra having learned…that's right. You absolutely, positively need to know how to use inverse operations and the Identity Property because without knowing this you can just forget progressing in Algebra. Period. Yeah, you read/heard me. If you can't do this, you can just forget it right now. SO, what does this tell you? hmmmm? You'd best get your booty IN GEAR and learn this process (it is a PROCESS) pronto and stop messing around with your iPod. 

Vocabulary, vocabulary, vocabulary! I bet you thought math = numbers. NOT! There's a lot of language needed here. Inverse means 'the opposite.' So, inverse operations means opposite operations. Simple, right? Let's do a quick quiz.
Answers: subtraction, multiplication That wasn't so hard, was it? Okay, now that you've gotten this far, you are almost THERE! Yahoo! Now, you need to use this information to learn some new vocabulary. 

Let's see just HOW you use the Additive Inverse to solve for x. Follow each step carefully and you won't go wrong! It's a promise. 

Step 1: Look at the operation and its sign. Circle the sign. 

Step 2: Look at the number attached to that operation sign. Circle it and the sign. 



Step 3: Write the inverse of the operation sign circled. Write the number circled. Write this number on the other side of the equals sign. FYI: You just wrote the Additive Inverse! 

Step 4: Cross out the Additive Inverse. Bring down the variable. On the other side of the equals sign, do the math. 

Sometimes you encounter a problem that takes two steps to solve. Easypeasy, lemonsqueasy! You are going to start by following the same steps as in a 1step equation. 

Step 1: Look at the operation and its sign. Circle the sign. 

Step 2: Look at the number attached to that operation sign. Circle it and the sign. 



Step 3: Write the inverse of the operation sign circled. Write the number circled. Write this number on the other side of the equals sign. 

Step 4: Cross out the Additive Inverse. Bring down the variable. On the other side of the equals sign, do the math. *This ends the 1step equation process. You aren't done yet! 

Step 5: There is ONE more operation left…you need to take the inverse of this last operation. Write the inverse on the other side of the equals sign. 

Step 6: Cross out the Multiplicative Inverse that is with the variable. Do the math on the other side of the equals sign. That's it! 

©2011–2017 Sherry Skipper Spurgeon. All rights reserved. 
