# What is an Inequality?

May 29th, 2015
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Inequality tells you about the relative size of two values. Mathematics is not always about "equals"! Sometimes you only know that something is bigger or smaller. This chapter is about inequalities -- statements that show the relationship

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Introduction to AlgebraAlgebra is great fun - you get to solve puzzles!A PuzzleWhat is the missing number?-2=4OK, the answer is 6, right? Because6 - 2 = 4. Easy stuff.Well, in Algebra we don't use blank boxes, we use aletter(usually an x or y, but any letter is fine). So we would write:x-2=4It is really that simple. The letter (in this case an x) just means "we don't know this yet", and is often called theunknownor thevariable.And when you solve it you write:x=6Why Use a Letter?Because:it is easier to write "x" than drawing empty boxes (and easier to say "x" than "the empty box").if there were several empty boxes (several "unknowns") we can use a different letter for each one.Soxis simply better than having an empty box. We aren't trying to make words with it!And it doesn't have to bex, it could beyorw... or any letter or symbo

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