(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

|x+3|+|x-1| = 5

2. Relevant equations

absolute value = distance from origin

distance between 2 points on a line = |x1-x2|

so |x+3| can be viewed as the distance from x to -3

and |x-1| can be viewed as the distance from x to 1

so we are trying to find a point x which has a distance from -3 and a distance from 1 that combine to equal 5...

3. The attempt at a solution

The options that add up to equal 5 are (0+5), (5+0), (2+3), (3+2), (1+4), (4+1)

if |x+3| = 0, then x=-3.... that gives 4 instead of 5

if |x+3| = 5, then x=2 or -8.... that gives 6 and 14 instead of 5

if |x+3| = 3, then x=0 or -6... that gives 4 and 10 instead of 5

if |x+3| = 2, then x=-1 or -5... that gives 4 and 8 instead of 5

if |x+3| = 1, then x=-2 or -4... that gives 4 and 6 instead of 5

if |x+3| = 4, then x=1 or -7... that gives 4 and 12 instead of 5

^ not only is that a really inefficient way to try to solve it. but I also couldn't get the answer! :(

can someone please tell me a way to solve these problems?

edit: I just realized I neglected all the options where x is not an integer...

**Physics Forums | Science Articles, Homework Help, Discussion**

Dismiss Notice

Join Physics Forums Today!

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

# Homework Help: |x+3|+|x-1| = 5

**Physics Forums | Science Articles, Homework Help, Discussion**