# Solve for x and y in the given algebra problem involving fractions

• chwala
Bingo!:cool:I will research later on the case where ##c≠1## and see what comes out, but my thinking is, ...as long as we can equate the fractions then we will always get the solution (by solving the equations simultaneously)...i.e assuming that we are dealing with similar type of equations.I don't know what you are saying. Just in case: a solution to ##4x+6y=1## and ##-5x+5y=x+y## is not generally a solution to an equation like$$\dfrac{4x+6y}{-5x+5y}=\dfrac{1}{x+y}$$because ##4x+6y=1##

#### chwala

Gold Member
Homework Statement
Solve for ##x## and ##y## in the given problem below;

##\dfrac {x+y}{x-y}##+ ##\dfrac {1}{x+y}##=##\dfrac {5}{25}##
Relevant Equations
equations
*Kindly note that i created this question (owned by me).

My Approach,

##\dfrac {(x+y)(4x+6y)}{(5x-5y)}##=##-1##

##(x+y)(4x+6y)=-5x+5y##

##\dfrac {4x+6y}{-5x+5y}##=##\dfrac {1}{x+y}##

to get the simultaneous equation,
##4x+6y=1##
##-5x+5y=x+y##
...

##4x+6y=1##
##-6x+4y=0##

giving us ##x=0.076923076##
##y= 0.115384615##

Any positive critic or alternative method is welcome. cheers guys

Last edited:
chwala said:
Homework Statement:: ##\dfrac {x+y}{x-y}##+ ##\dfrac {x+y}{x-y}##=##\dfrac {5}{25}##
Relevant Equations:: equations*Kindly note that i created this question.
This is wrong almost from the get-go.
You should at least start from a simplified equation; namely
$$\frac{2x + 2y}{x - y} = \frac 1 5$$
Or better yet, $$\frac{x + y}{x - y} = \frac 1 {10}$$
chwala said:
My Approach,
##\dfrac {(x+y)(4x+6y)}{(5x-5y)}##=##-1##
##(x+y)(4x+6y)=-5x+5y##
##\dfrac {4x+6y}{-5x+5y}##=##\dfrac {1}{x+y}##

to get the simultaneous equation,
##4x+6y=1##
##-5x+5y=x+y##
It doesn't make sense to talk about "a simultaneous equation" when you have only one equation. You will not be able to solve for both x and y when you start with one equation in the variables x and y.
I also have no idea what you did to arrive at the above. Did you make a typo in writing the equation that you created?
chwala said:
...

##4x+6y=1##
##-6x+4y=0##

giving us ##x=0.076923076##
##y= 0.115384615##

Any positive critic or alternative method is welcome. cheers guys
See above.

let me check this again...will get back...yes there is a typo...i have just amended...sorry was bit busy ...

It seems someone changed the problem during the discussion.

\begin{align*}
\dfrac{1}{5}&=\dfrac{x+y}{x-y}+\dfrac{1}{x+y}=\dfrac{(x+y)^2+x-y}{x^2-y^2}\\
x^2-y^2&=5x^2+5y^2+10xy+5x-5y\\
0&=4x^2+10xy+6y^2+5x-5y
\end{align*}

There are two real roots.

fresh_42 said:
It seems someone changed the problem during the discussion.

\begin{align*}
\dfrac{1}{5}&=\dfrac{x+y}{x-y}+\dfrac{1}{x+y}=\dfrac{(x+y)^2+x-y}{x^2-y^2}\\
x^2-y^2&=5x^2+5y^2+10xy+5x-5y\\
0&=4x^2+10xy+6y^2+5x-5y
\end{align*}

There are two real roots.
Yes Fresh, I did amend the question...slight typo error...are my steps correct or you want me to share step by step working?

chwala said:
Yes Fresh, I did amend the question...slight typo error...are my steps correct or you want me to share step by step working?
I do not understand your steps.

##\dfrac {x+y}{x-y}##+ ##\dfrac {1}{x+y}##=##\dfrac {5}{25}##

##\dfrac {(x+y)^2}{x-y}##+ ##1##=##\dfrac {x+y}{5}##

##\dfrac {(x+y)^2}{x-y}- \dfrac {x+y}{5}##=##-1##

##\dfrac {5(x+y)^2-(x+y)(x-y)}{5(x-y)}##=##-1##

##\dfrac {(x+y)(5x+5y-x+y)}{5(x-y)}##=##-1##

##\dfrac {(x+y)(4x+6y)}{5x-5y}##=##-1##

##(x+y)(4x+6y)=-5x+5y##

##\dfrac {4x+6y}{-5x+5y}##=##\dfrac {1}{x+y}##

to get the simultaneous equation,
##4x+6y=1##
##-5x+5y=x+y##
...

##4x+6y=1##
##-6x+4y=0##

giving us ##x=0.076923076##
##y= 0.115384615##

Last edited:
chwala said:
##\dfrac {x+y}{x-y}##+ ##\dfrac {1}{x+y}##=##\dfrac {5}{25}##

##\dfrac {(x+y)^2}{x-y}##+ ##1##=##\dfrac {x+y}{5}##

##\dfrac {(x+y)^2}{x-y}- \dfrac {x+y}{5}##=##-1##

##\dfrac {5(x+y)^2-(x+y)(x-y)}{5(x-y)}##=##-1##

##\dfrac {(x+y)(5x+5y-x+y)}{5(x-y)}##=##-1##

##\dfrac {(x+y)(4x+6y)}{5x-5y}##=##-1##

Is the question to
write the given implicit function of x and y
as another implicit function of x and y (possibly in some "standard form")?

You can type (or right-click, Copy to Clipboard as TeX commands) each expression in https://www.desmos.com/calculator to compare
(give different plotting characteristics to each function by long-clicking its control-circle).

Fine, now I see how you got to
$$\dfrac{4x+6y}{-5x+5y}=\dfrac{1}{x+y}$$
In the next step, you set ##4x+6y=1## and ##-5x+5y=x+y##. This is a nice way to get a solution, and I don't know a better approach. But we can only conclude ##4x+6y=c## and ##-5x+5y=cx+cy## with any ##c\neq 0.##

Now, let me see what your choice of ##c=1## yields:
\begin{align*}
\begin{bmatrix}4&6\\-6&4\end{bmatrix} \cdot \begin{bmatrix}x\\y\end{bmatrix}&=\begin{bmatrix}1\\0\end{bmatrix}\\
&\Longrightarrow \\
\begin{bmatrix}x\\y\end{bmatrix}&=\dfrac{1}{52}\begin{bmatrix}4&-6\\6&4\end{bmatrix}\cdot \begin{bmatrix}1\\0\end{bmatrix}=\dfrac{1}{52}\begin{bmatrix}4\\6\end{bmatrix}
\end{align*}

Are these the numbers you got, and what if ##c\neq 1##?

chwala
fresh_42 said:
Fine, now I see how you got to
$$\dfrac{4x+6y}{-5x+5y}=\dfrac{1}{x+y}$$
In the next step, you set ##4x+6y=1## and ##-5x+5y=x+y##. This is a nice way to get a solution, and I don't know a better approach. But we can only conclude ##4x+6y=c## and ##-5x+5y=cx+cy## with any ##c\neq 0.##

Now, let me see what your choice of ##c=1## yields:
\begin{align*}
\begin{bmatrix}4&6\\-6&4\end{bmatrix} \cdot \begin{bmatrix}x\\y\end{bmatrix}&=\begin{bmatrix}1\\0\end{bmatrix}\\
&\Longrightarrow \\
\begin{bmatrix}x\\y\end{bmatrix}&=\dfrac{1}{52}\begin{bmatrix}4&-6\\6&4\end{bmatrix}\cdot \begin{bmatrix}1\\0\end{bmatrix}=\dfrac{1}{52}\begin{bmatrix}4\\6\end{bmatrix}
\end{align*}

Are these the numbers you got, and what if ##c\neq 1##?
Yes indeed! its a nice way and it gave me the solution, i used equivalent relationship of fractions i.e ##\dfrac {a}{b}##=##\dfrac {m}{n}## ...to work to solution. Yes fresh, these are the numbers i got;

\begin{align*}
\begin{bmatrix}4&6\\-6&4\end{bmatrix} \cdot \begin{bmatrix}x\\y\end{bmatrix}&=\begin{bmatrix}1\\0\end{bmatrix}\\
&\Longrightarrow \\
\begin{bmatrix}x\\y\end{bmatrix}&=\dfrac{1}{52}\begin{bmatrix}4&-6\\6&4\end{bmatrix}\cdot \begin{bmatrix}1\\0\end{bmatrix}=\dfrac{1}{52}\begin{bmatrix}4\\6\end{bmatrix}
\end{align*}

Bingo!

Last edited:
I will research later on the case where ##c≠1## and see what comes out, but my thinking is, ...as long as we can equate the fractions then we will always get the solution (by solving the equations simultaneously)...i.e assuming that we are dealing with similar type of problems.

chwala said:
...i.e assuming that we are dealing with similar type of problems.
I agree. But you should be aware of the fact that a quotient is always only a relation, i.e. unique up to a factor in numerator and denominator.

Edit: And the solutions do not depend linear on this factor! ##(x,y)=(1/13, 3/26)## is a solution, but as we can see from @robphy's link, ##(x,y)=c\cdot (1/13, 3/26)## are not! A different algebraic transformation in your first steps will lead to a totally different solution. A different value for ##c## will lead to a totally different solution. To solve the problem, you will have to determine pairs ##(x(c),y(c))## that depends (non-linear) on ##c##.

Last edited:
chwala
fresh_42 said:
I agree. But you should be aware of the fact that a quotient is always only a relation, i.e. unique up to a factor in numerator and denominator.
Noted mate...cheers.

chwala said:
Homework Statement:: Solve for ##x## and ##y## in the given problem below;

##\dfrac {x+y}{x-y}##+ ##\dfrac {1}{x+y}##=##\dfrac {5}{25}##
Relevant Equations:: equationsgiving us ##x=0.076923076##
##y= 0.115384615##

Any positive critic or alternative method is welcome. cheers guys
Also known as ##(x,y)=\left(\dfrac{1}{13} \ , \ \ \dfrac{3}{26} \right)## .

There are many solutions as pointed out by others.

Two easy to get solutions involve setting ##x## to zero or setting ##y## to zero.

There are at least several integer solutions.

An interesting change of variables is: ##\text{ Let } u = x + y \text{ and } v = x - y \ .##

This gives ##v## as a rational function of ##u## .

chwala
SammyS said:
Also known as ##(x,y)=\left(\dfrac{1}{13} \ , \ \ \dfrac{3}{26} \right)## .

There are many solutions as pointed out by others.

Two easy to get solutions involve setting ##x## to zero or setting ##y## to zero.

There are at least several integer solutions.

An interesting change of variables is: ##\text{ Let } u = x + y \text{ and } v = x - y \ .##

This gives ##v## as a rational function of ##u## .
True setting ##x=0## or ##y=0## will work but that would be a lazy approach in solving equations...one needs to work from the set problem step by step to realize the solution...yes ofcourse I've noted that we could have other solutions. Thanks Sammy.

chwala said:
True setting ##x=0## or ##y=0## will work but that would be a lazy approach in solving equations...one needs to work from the set problem step by step to realize the solution...yes of course I've noted that we could have other solutions. Thanks Sammy.
I didn't consider that to be a very significant part of my post.

Altering my suggestion a bit, i found the following substitution to be quite useful.

##\text{ Let } u = x + y \text{ and } v = -x + y \ . ## ( You can solve this pair later for ##x## and ##y##. )

To get you started, you then have

##\displaystyle \frac{u}{-v} + \frac{1}{u} = \frac{1}{5} \ .##

##\displaystyle \frac{u}{-v} = \frac{1}{5} - \frac{1}{u} = \frac{u-5}{5u} ##

## \displaystyle \frac{-v}{u} = \frac{5u}{u-5} ##

And finally: ## \displaystyle v = \frac{-5u^2}{u-5} ##

Among other things, this result leads directly to a parametrization of ##(x,y)## using the single variable, ##u##.

chwala
robphy said:
Possibly useful update:
Wow. Maybe I'll have to spend some time & get familiar with desmos .

I think I have found two asymptotes for this problem. Clearly, for the the graph resulting from the transformation in post #17: ## u = x + y \text{ and } v = -x + y \ .## Taking the ##u## axis as horizontal, the vertical line, ##u=5 ## is a vertical asymptote.
That corresponds to a line ##x+y=5## on @robphy 's desmos graph.
It also, appears to me that the line you attribute to fresh_42, specifically ##4x+6y = c##, is an asymptote for the value, ##c=-25 \ .##
These lines intersect at the point ##\displaystyle (x,y) = \left( \frac{55}{2}, \frac{-45}{2} \right)## .

Last edited:
robphy said:
Great! Can you please give us a lesson on doing those slider controls - have used Desmos quite a bit but never came across those till now.

chwala
Thanks Fresh for the link...i was just looking at the wolframath...

fresh_42
neilparker62 said:
• Great! Can you please give us a lesson on doing those slider controls - have used Desmos quite a bit but never came across those till now.

(I've been thinking about writing a tutorial... since my recent talks at AAPT meetings have been on using Desmos.)

I’ve been using Desmos since 2015.
The way I learned is to look at what other people have done (“applications” and examples). Then customize for your own use. (There are examples via the hamburger button in the top-left corner of https://www.desmos.com/calculator .)

• If you type in a mathematical expression with one free variable, it uses that as the independent variable.
• If you use more than one free variable, it offers you sliders for all of the free variables. You can accept them all, then delete the slider that you want to be the dependent variable.
• You can get fancier by creating a draggable point (a,b) with two independent variables… or a point on a graph (a, f(a)) where f(x)=cos(x) as an example. The point can play the role of a slider. You can restrict the dragging via the control circle.
You can customize the appearance by clicking the control circle for the expression.

Here's an example: https://www.desmos.com/calculator/zaqc2od8a3 (push "play" of the T-slider)

Other fancy examples:
https://www.desmos.com/calculator/fywfjpb8ug
https://www.desmos.com/calculator/9wtesg4mqg
https://www.desmos.com/calculator/tqxfk6kq9o
https://www.desmos.com/calculator/qalqconaov
https://www.desmos.com/calculator/rhrwohh1zm
https://www.desmos.com/calculator/m1rp8vw6jp
https://www.desmos.com/calculator/awgqxtkqcc
https://www.desmos.com/calculator/8kr9uc9zwu

Last edited:
neilparker62 and chwala
Thanks very much - will definitely experiment further.

## 1. How do I solve for x and y in an algebra problem involving fractions?

To solve for x and y in an algebra problem involving fractions, you will need to use the principles of algebra and the properties of fractions. This includes finding a common denominator, simplifying fractions, and using the distributive property. It may also be helpful to cross-multiply or isolate variables on one side of the equation.

## 2. Can I solve for x and y simultaneously in an algebra problem with fractions?

Yes, you can solve for x and y simultaneously in an algebra problem with fractions. This means that you will find the values of both x and y in one step, rather than solving for one variable and then using that value to solve for the other variable.

## 3. What should I do if I encounter negative fractions in an algebra problem?

If you encounter negative fractions in an algebra problem, you can treat them like any other fraction. Remember that a negative fraction can be written as a positive fraction with a negative sign in front. It may also be helpful to convert the negative fractions to decimal form for easier calculations.

## 4. How do I check my solution for x and y in an algebra problem with fractions?

To check your solution for x and y in an algebra problem with fractions, simply substitute the values you found for x and y back into the original equation. If the equation is true, then your solution is correct. If the equation is not true, then you may have made an error in your calculations.

## 5. Can I solve for x and y in an algebra problem with mixed numbers?

Yes, you can solve for x and y in an algebra problem with mixed numbers. To do so, you will need to convert the mixed numbers to improper fractions and then follow the same steps as you would for solving with regular fractions. Remember to simplify your fractions and convert back to mixed numbers if necessary.