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College Algebra with Corequisite Support

2.7 Linear Inequalities and Absolute Value Inequalities

College Algebra with Corequisite Support2.7 Linear Inequalities and Absolute Value Inequalities
  1. Preface
  2. 1 Prerequisites
    1. Introduction to Prerequisites
    2. 1.1 Real Numbers: Algebra Essentials
    3. 1.2 Exponents and Scientific Notation
    4. 1.3 Radicals and Rational Exponents
    5. 1.4 Polynomials
    6. 1.5 Factoring Polynomials
    7. 1.6 Rational Expressions
    8. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    9. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  3. 2 Equations and Inequalities
    1. Introduction to Equations and Inequalities
    2. 2.1 The Rectangular Coordinate Systems and Graphs
    3. 2.2 Linear Equations in One Variable
    4. 2.3 Models and Applications
    5. 2.4 Complex Numbers
    6. 2.5 Quadratic Equations
    7. 2.6 Other Types of Equations
    8. 2.7 Linear Inequalities and Absolute Value Inequalities
    9. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    10. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  4. 3 Functions
    1. Introduction to Functions
    2. 3.1 Functions and Function Notation
    3. 3.2 Domain and Range
    4. 3.3 Rates of Change and Behavior of Graphs
    5. 3.4 Composition of Functions
    6. 3.5 Transformation of Functions
    7. 3.6 Absolute Value Functions
    8. 3.7 Inverse Functions
    9. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    10. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  5. 4 Linear Functions
    1. Introduction to Linear Functions
    2. 4.1 Linear Functions
    3. 4.2 Modeling with Linear Functions
    4. 4.3 Fitting Linear Models to Data
    5. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Concepts
    6. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  6. 5 Polynomial and Rational Functions
    1. Introduction to Polynomial and Rational Functions
    2. 5.1 Quadratic Functions
    3. 5.2 Power Functions and Polynomial Functions
    4. 5.3 Graphs of Polynomial Functions
    5. 5.4 Dividing Polynomials
    6. 5.5 Zeros of Polynomial Functions
    7. 5.6 Rational Functions
    8. 5.7 Inverses and Radical Functions
    9. 5.8 Modeling Using Variation
    10. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    11. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  7. 6 Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
    1. Introduction to Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
    2. 6.1 Exponential Functions
    3. 6.2 Graphs of Exponential Functions
    4. 6.3 Logarithmic Functions
    5. 6.4 Graphs of Logarithmic Functions
    6. 6.5 Logarithmic Properties
    7. 6.6 Exponential and Logarithmic Equations
    8. 6.7 Exponential and Logarithmic Models
    9. 6.8 Fitting Exponential Models to Data
    10. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    11. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  8. 7 Systems of Equations and Inequalities
    1. Introduction to Systems of Equations and Inequalities
    2. 7.1 Systems of Linear Equations: Two Variables
    3. 7.2 Systems of Linear Equations: Three Variables
    4. 7.3 Systems of Nonlinear Equations and Inequalities: Two Variables
    5. 7.4 Partial Fractions
    6. 7.5 Matrices and Matrix Operations
    7. 7.6 Solving Systems with Gaussian Elimination
    8. 7.7 Solving Systems with Inverses
    9. 7.8 Solving Systems with Cramer's Rule
    10. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    11. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  9. 8 Analytic Geometry
    1. Introduction to Analytic Geometry
    2. 8.1 The Ellipse
    3. 8.2 The Hyperbola
    4. 8.3 The Parabola
    5. 8.4 Rotation of Axes
    6. 8.5 Conic Sections in Polar Coordinates
    7. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    8. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  10. 9 Sequences, Probability, and Counting Theory
    1. Introduction to Sequences, Probability and Counting Theory
    2. 9.1 Sequences and Their Notations
    3. 9.2 Arithmetic Sequences
    4. 9.3 Geometric Sequences
    5. 9.4 Series and Their Notations
    6. 9.5 Counting Principles
    7. 9.6 Binomial Theorem
    8. 9.7 Probability
    9. Chapter Review
      1. Key Terms
      2. Key Equations
      3. Key Concepts
    10. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  11. Answer Key
    1. Chapter 1
    2. Chapter 2
    3. Chapter 3
    4. Chapter 4
    5. Chapter 5
    6. Chapter 6
    7. Chapter 7
    8. Chapter 8
    9. Chapter 9
  12. Index
Several red winner’s ribbons lie on a white table.
Figure 1

It is not easy to make the honor roll at most top universities. Suppose students were required to carry a course load of at least 12 credit hours and maintain a grade point average of 3.5 or above. How could these honor roll requirements be expressed mathematically? In this section, we will explore various ways to express different sets of numbers, inequalities, and absolute value inequalities.

Using Interval Notation

Indicating the solution to an inequality such as x4 x4 can be achieved in several ways.

We can use a number line as shown in Figure 2. The blue ray begins at x=4 x=4 and, as indicated by the arrowhead, continues to infinity, which illustrates that the solution set includes all real numbers greater than or equal to 4.

A number line starting at zero with the last tick mark being labeled 11.  There is a dot at the number 4 and an arrow extends toward the right.
Figure 2

We can use set-builder notation: { x|x4 }, { x|x4 }, which translates to “all real numbers x such that x is greater than or equal to 4.” Notice that braces are used to indicate a set.

The third method is interval notation, in which solution sets are indicated with parentheses or brackets. The solutions to x4 x4 are represented as [ 4, ). [ 4, ). This is perhaps the most useful method, as it applies to concepts studied later in this course and to other higher-level math courses.

The main concept to remember is that parentheses represent solutions greater or less than the number, and brackets represent solutions that are greater than or equal to or less than or equal to the number. Use parentheses to represent infinity or negative infinity, since positive and negative infinity are not numbers in the usual sense of the word and, therefore, cannot be “equaled.” A few examples of an interval, or a set of numbers in which a solution falls, are [ −2,6 ), [ −2,6 ), or all numbers between −2 −2 and 6, 6, including −2, −2, but not including 6; 6; ( 1,0 ), ( 1,0 ), all real numbers between, but not including −1 −1 and 0; 0; and ( ,1 ], ( ,1 ], all real numbers less than and including 1. 1. Table 1 outlines the possibilities.

Set Indicated Set-Builder Notation Interval Notation
All real numbers between a and b, but not including a or b { x|a<x<b } { x|a<x<b } ( a,b ) ( a,b )
All real numbers greater than a, but not including a { x|x>a } { x|x>a } ( a, ) ( a, )
All real numbers less than b, but not including b { x|x<b } { x|x<b } ( ,b ) ( ,b )
All real numbers greater than a, including a { x|xa } { x|xa } [ a, ) [ a, )
All real numbers less than b, including b { x|xb } { x|xb } ( ,b ] ( ,b ]
All real numbers between a and b, including a { x|ax<b } { x|ax<b } [ a,b ) [ a,b )
All real numbers between a and b, including b { x|a<xb } { x|a<xb } ( a,b ] ( a,b ]
All real numbers between a and b, including a and b { x|axb } { x|axb } [ a,b ] [ a,b ]
All real numbers less than a or greater than b { x|x<aorx>b } { x|x<aorx>b } ( ,a )( b, ) ( ,a )( b, )
All real numbers { x|xis all real numbers } { x|xis all real numbers } ( , ) ( , )
Table 1

Example 1

Using Interval Notation to Express All Real Numbers Greater Than or Equal to a

Use interval notation to indicate all real numbers greater than or equal to −2. −2.

Try It #1

Use interval notation to indicate all real numbers between and including −3 −3 and 5. 5.

Example 2

Using Interval Notation to Express All Real Numbers Less Than or Equal to a or Greater Than or Equal to b

Write the interval expressing all real numbers less than or equal to −1 −1 or greater than or equal to 1. 1.

Try It #2

Express all real numbers less than −2 −2 or greater than or equal to 3 in interval notation.

Using the Properties of Inequalities

When we work with inequalities, we can usually treat them similarly to but not exactly as we treat equalities. We can use the addition property and the multiplication property to help us solve them. The one exception is when we multiply or divide by a negative number; doing so reverses the inequality symbol.

Properties of Inequalities

AdditionProperty If a<b,then a+c<b+c. MultiplicationProperty If a<bandc>0,then ac<bc. If a<bandc<0,then ac>bc. AdditionProperty If a<b,then a+c<b+c. MultiplicationProperty If a<bandc>0,then ac<bc. If a<bandc<0,then ac>bc.

These properties also apply to ab, ab, a>b, a>b, and ab. ab.

Example 3

Demonstrating the Addition Property

Illustrate the addition property for inequalities by solving each of the following:

  1. x15<4 x15<4
  2. 6x1 6x1
  3. x+7>9 x+7>9
Try It #3

Solve: 3x−2<1. 3x−2<1.

Example 4

Demonstrating the Multiplication Property

Illustrate the multiplication property for inequalities by solving each of the following:

  1. 3x<6 3x<6
  2. −2x15 −2x15
  3. 5x>10 5x>10
Try It #4

Solve: 4x+72x3. 4x+72x3.

Solving Inequalities in One Variable Algebraically

As the examples have shown, we can perform the same operations on both sides of an inequality, just as we do with equations; we combine like terms and perform operations. To solve, we isolate the variable.

Example 5

Solving an Inequality Algebraically

Solve the inequality: 137x10x4. 137x10x4.

Try It #5

Solve the inequality and write the answer using interval notation: x+4< 1 2 x+1. x+4< 1 2 x+1.

Example 6

Solving an Inequality with Fractions

Solve the following inequality and write the answer in interval notation: 3 4 x 5 8 + 2 3 x. 3 4 x 5 8 + 2 3 x.

Try It #6

Solve the inequality and write the answer in interval notation: 5 6 x 3 4 + 8 3 x. 5 6 x 3 4 + 8 3 x.

Understanding Compound Inequalities

A compound inequality includes two inequalities in one statement. A statement such as 4<x6 4<x6 means 4<x 4<x and x6. x6. There are two ways to solve compound inequalities: separating them into two separate inequalities or leaving the compound inequality intact and performing operations on all three parts at the same time. We will illustrate both methods.

Example 7

Solving a Compound Inequality

Solve the compound inequality: 32x+2<6. 32x+2<6.

Try It #7

Solve the compound inequality: 4<2x810. 4<2x810.

Example 8

Solving a Compound Inequality with the Variable in All Three Parts

Solve the compound inequality with variables in all three parts: 3+x>7x2>5x10. 3+x>7x2>5x10.

Try It #8

Solve the compound inequality: 3y<45y<5+3y. 3y<45y<5+3y.

Solving Absolute Value Inequalities

As we know, the absolute value of a quantity is a positive number or zero. From the origin, a point located at ( x,0 ) ( x,0 ) has an absolute value of x, x, as it is x units away. Consider absolute value as the distance from one point to another point. Regardless of direction, positive or negative, the distance between the two points is represented as a positive number or zero.

An absolute value inequality is an equation of the form

|A|<B,|A|B,| A |>B,or | A |B, |A|<B,|A|B,|A|>B,or |A|B,

Where A, and sometimes B, represents an algebraic expression dependent on a variable x. Solving the inequality means finding the set of all x x -values that satisfy the problem. Usually this set will be an interval or the union of two intervals and will include a range of values.

There are two basic approaches to solving absolute value inequalities: graphical and algebraic. The advantage of the graphical approach is we can read the solution by interpreting the graphs of two equations. The advantage of the algebraic approach is that solutions are exact, as precise solutions are sometimes difficult to read from a graph.

Suppose we want to know all possible returns on an investment if we could earn some amount of money within $200 of $600. We can solve algebraically for the set of x-values such that the distance between x x and 600 is less than or equal to 200. We represent the distance between x x and 600 as | x600 |, | x600 |, and therefore, | x600 |200 | x600 |200 or

−200x600200 −200+600x600+600200+600 400x800 −200x600200 −200+600x600+600200+600 400x800

This means our returns would be between $400 and $800.

To solve absolute value inequalities, just as with absolute value equations, we write two inequalities and then solve them independently.

Absolute Value Inequalities

For an algebraic expression X, and k>0, k>0, an absolute value inequality is an inequality of the form

| X |<kis equivalent to k<X<k | X |>kis equivalent to X<kor X>k | X |<kis equivalent to k<X<k | X |>kis equivalent to X<kor X>k

These statements also apply to | X |k | X |k and | X |k. | X |k.

Example 9

Determining a Number within a Prescribed Distance

Describe all values x x within a distance of 4 from the number 5.

Try It #9

Describe all x-values within a distance of 3 from the number 2.

Example 10

Solving an Absolute Value Inequality

Solve | x1 |3 |x1|3 .

Example 11

Using a Graphical Approach to Solve Absolute Value Inequalities

Given the equation y= 1 2 | 4x5 |+3, y= 1 2 |4x5|+3, determine the x-values for which the y-values are negative.

Try It #10

Solve 2| k4 |6. 2| k4 |6.

Media

Access these online resources for additional instruction and practice with linear inequalities and absolute value inequalities.

2.7 Section Exercises

Verbal

1.

When solving an inequality, explain what happened from Step 1 to Step 2:

Step 1 2x>6 Step 2 x<3 Step 1 2x>6 Step 2 x<3

2.

When solving an inequality, we arrive at:

x+2<x+3 2<3 x+2<x+3 2<3

Explain what our solution set is.

3.

When writing our solution in interval notation, how do we represent all the real numbers?

4.

When solving an inequality, we arrive at:

x+2>x+3 2>3 x+2>x+3 2>3

Explain what our solution set is.

5.

Describe how to graph y=| x3 | y=| x3 |

Algebraic

For the following exercises, solve the inequality. Write your final answer in interval notation.

6.

4x79 4x79

7.

3x+27x1 3x+27x1

8.

−2x+3>x5 −2x+3>x5

9.

4(x+3)2x1 4(x+3)2x1

10.

1 2 x 5 4 + 2 5 x 1 2 x 5 4 + 2 5 x

11.

−5(x1)+3>3x44x −5(x1)+3>3x44x

12.

−3(2x+1)>−2(x+4) −3(2x+1)>−2(x+4)

13.

x+3 8 x+5 5 3 10 x+3 8 x+5 5 3 10

14.

x1 3 + x+2 5 3 5 x1 3 + x+2 5 3 5

For the following exercises, solve the inequality involving absolute value. Write your final answer in interval notation.

15.

| x+9 |−6 | x+9 |−6

16.

| 2x+3 |<7 | 2x+3 |<7

17.

|3x1|>11 |3x1|>11

18.

| 2x+1 |+16 | 2x+1 |+16

19.

| x2 |+410 | x2 |+410

20.

| −2x+7 |13 | −2x+7 |13

21.

|x7|<−4 |x7|<−4

22.

|x20|>−1 |x20|>−1

23.

| x3 4 |<2 | x3 4 |<2

For the following exercises, describe all the x-values within or including a distance of the given values.

24.

Distance of 5 units from the number 7

25.

Distance of 3 units from the number 9

26.

Distance of 10 units from the number 4

27.

Distance of 11 units from the number 1

For the following exercises, solve the compound inequality. Express your answer using inequality signs, and then write your answer using interval notation.

28.

−4<3x+218 −4<3x+218

29.

3x+1>2x5>x7 3x+1>2x5>x7

30.

3y<52y<7+y 3y<52y<7+y

31.

2x5<−11or 5x+16 2x5<−11or 5x+16

32.

x+7<x+2 x+7<x+2

Graphical

For the following exercises, graph the function. Observe the points of intersection and shade the x-axis representing the solution set to the inequality. Show your graph and write your final answer in interval notation.

33.

|x1|>2 |x1|>2

34.

| x+3 |5 | x+3 |5

35.

| x+7 |4 | x+7 |4

36.

| x2 |<7 | x2 |<7

37.

| x2 |<0 | x2 |<0

For the following exercises, graph both straight lines (left-hand side being y1 and right-hand side being y2) on the same axes. Find the point of intersection and solve the inequality by observing where it is true comparing the y-values of the lines.

38.

x+3<3x4 x+3<3x4

39.

x2>2x+1 x2>2x+1

40.

x+1>x+4 x+1>x+4

41.

1 2 x+1> 1 2 x5 1 2 x+1> 1 2 x5

42.

4x+1< 1 2 x+3 4x+1< 1 2 x+3

Numeric

For the following exercises, write the set in interval notation.

43.

{ x| −1<x<3 } { x| −1<x<3 }

44.

{ x| x7 } { x| x7 }

45.

{ x| x<4 } { x| x<4 }

46.

{ x| xis all real numbers } { x| xis all real numbers }

For the following exercises, write the interval in set-builder notation.

47.

( ,6 ) ( ,6 )

48.

( 4, ) ( 4, )

49.

[−3,5) [−3,5)

50.

[−4,1][9,) [−4,1][9,)

For the following exercises, write the set of numbers represented on the number line in interval notation.

51.
A number line with two tick marks labeled: -2 and 1 respectively.  There is an open circle around the -2 and a dot on the 1 with an arrow connecting the two.
52.
Number line with two tick marks labeled: -1 and 2 respectively.  There is an open circle around the tick mark labeled -1 and a line that extends leftward from the circle.  There is a dot around the tick mark labeled 2 and a line that extends rightward from the dot.
53.
Number line with one tick mark labeled 4.  There is a dot on the tick mark and an arrow extending leftward from the dot.

Technology

For the following exercises, input the left-hand side of the inequality as a Y1 graph in your graphing utility. Enter y2 = the right-hand side. Entering the absolute value of an expression is found in the MATH menu, Num, 1:abs(. Find the points of intersection, recall (2nd CALC 5:intersection, 1st curve, enter, 2nd curve, enter, guess, enter). Copy a sketch of the graph and shade the x-axis for your solution set to the inequality. Write final answers in interval notation.

54.

| x+2 |5<2 | x+2 |5<2

55.

1 2 | x+2 |<4 1 2 | x+2 |<4

56.

| 4x+1 |3>2 | 4x+1 |3>2

57.

| x4 |<3 | x4 |<3

58.

| x+2 |5 | x+2 |5

Extensions

59.

Solve | 3x+1 |=| 2x+3 | | 3x+1 |=| 2x+3 |

60.

Solve x 2 x>12 x 2 x>12

61.

x5 x+7 0, x5 x+7 0, x−7 x−7

62.

p= x 2 +130x3000 p= x 2 +130x3000 is a profit formula for a small business. Find the set of x-values that will keep this profit positive.

Real-World Applications

63.

In chemistry the volume for a certain gas is given by V=20T, V=20T, where V is measured in cc and T is temperature in ºC. If the temperature varies between 80ºC and 120ºC, find the set of volume values.

64.

A basic cellular package costs $20/mo. for 60 min of calling, with an additional charge of $.30/min beyond that time.. The cost formula would be C=$20+.30(x60). C=$20+.30(x60). If you have to keep your bill lower than $50, what is the maximum calling minutes you can use?

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