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I want to first start off by saying that I am not here for handout to my homework. I am here because maybe you guys can help me understand physics. I am currently enrolled in a calculus-base physics that is kicking my ass and I need some help understand the different subjects.

Currently I am reviewing, Linear Momentum and Collisions. I wanted to know if there is method that I can use to determine what formula to use.

I know: mV=mv ( V = velocity sub one and v= velocity sub two)

Sometime, depending on the question I can use: mV= mv+mV or mV=(m+m)V etc.

I understand the these formulas can only be used when momentum is conserved but what I do not understand is how to determine what formula to use. Can someone explain that to me?

Thanks,