Skip to Content
OpenStax Logo
  1. Preface
  2. 1 Foundations
    1. Introduction
    2. 1.1 Use the Language of Algebra
    3. 1.2 Integers
    4. 1.3 Fractions
    5. 1.4 Decimals
    6. 1.5 Properties of Real Numbers
    7. Key Terms
    8. Key Concepts
    9. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  3. 2 Solving Linear Equations
    1. Introduction
    2. 2.1 Use a General Strategy to Solve Linear Equations
    3. 2.2 Use a Problem Solving Strategy
    4. 2.3 Solve a Formula for a Specific Variable
    5. 2.4 Solve Mixture and Uniform Motion Applications
    6. 2.5 Solve Linear Inequalities
    7. 2.6 Solve Compound Inequalities
    8. 2.7 Solve Absolute Value Inequalities
    9. Key Terms
    10. Key Concepts
    11. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  4. 3 Graphs and Functions
    1. Introduction
    2. 3.1 Graph Linear Equations in Two Variables
    3. 3.2 Slope of a Line
    4. 3.3 Find the Equation of a Line
    5. 3.4 Graph Linear Inequalities in Two Variables
    6. 3.5 Relations and Functions
    7. 3.6 Graphs of Functions
    8. Key Terms
    9. Key Concepts
    10. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  5. 4 Systems of Linear Equations
    1. Introduction
    2. 4.1 Solve Systems of Linear Equations with Two Variables
    3. 4.2 Solve Applications with Systems of Equations
    4. 4.3 Solve Mixture Applications with Systems of Equations
    5. 4.4 Solve Systems of Equations with Three Variables
    6. 4.5 Solve Systems of Equations Using Matrices
    7. 4.6 Solve Systems of Equations Using Determinants
    8. 4.7 Graphing Systems of Linear Inequalities
    9. Key Terms
    10. Key Concepts
    11. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  6. 5 Polynomials and Polynomial Functions
    1. Introduction
    2. 5.1 Add and Subtract Polynomials
    3. 5.2 Properties of Exponents and Scientific Notation
    4. 5.3 Multiply Polynomials
    5. 5.4 Dividing Polynomials
    6. Key Terms
    7. Key Concepts
    8. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  7. 6 Factoring
    1. Introduction to Factoring
    2. 6.1 Greatest Common Factor and Factor by Grouping
    3. 6.2 Factor Trinomials
    4. 6.3 Factor Special Products
    5. 6.4 General Strategy for Factoring Polynomials
    6. 6.5 Polynomial Equations
    7. Key Terms
    8. Key Concepts
    9. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  8. 7 Rational Expressions and Functions
    1. Introduction
    2. 7.1 Multiply and Divide Rational Expressions
    3. 7.2 Add and Subtract Rational Expressions
    4. 7.3 Simplify Complex Rational Expressions
    5. 7.4 Solve Rational Equations
    6. 7.5 Solve Applications with Rational Equations
    7. 7.6 Solve Rational Inequalities
    8. Key Terms
    9. Key Concepts
    10. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  9. 8 Roots and Radicals
    1. Introduction
    2. 8.1 Simplify Expressions with Roots
    3. 8.2 Simplify Radical Expressions
    4. 8.3 Simplify Rational Exponents
    5. 8.4 Add, Subtract, and Multiply Radical Expressions
    6. 8.5 Divide Radical Expressions
    7. 8.6 Solve Radical Equations
    8. 8.7 Use Radicals in Functions
    9. 8.8 Use the Complex Number System
    10. Key Terms
    11. Key Concepts
    12. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  10. 9 Quadratic Equations and Functions
    1. Introduction
    2. 9.1 Solve Quadratic Equations Using the Square Root Property
    3. 9.2 Solve Quadratic Equations by Completing the Square
    4. 9.3 Solve Quadratic Equations Using the Quadratic Formula
    5. 9.4 Solve Quadratic Equations in Quadratic Form
    6. 9.5 Solve Applications of Quadratic Equations
    7. 9.6 Graph Quadratic Functions Using Properties
    8. 9.7 Graph Quadratic Functions Using Transformations
    9. 9.8 Solve Quadratic Inequalities
    10. Key Terms
    11. Key Concepts
    12. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  11. 10 Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
    1. Introduction
    2. 10.1 Finding Composite and Inverse Functions
    3. 10.2 Evaluate and Graph Exponential Functions
    4. 10.3 Evaluate and Graph Logarithmic Functions
    5. 10.4 Use the Properties of Logarithms
    6. 10.5 Solve Exponential and Logarithmic Equations
    7. Key Terms
    8. Key Concepts
    9. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  12. 11 Conics
    1. Introduction
    2. 11.1 Distance and Midpoint Formulas; Circles
    3. 11.2 Parabolas
    4. 11.3 Ellipses
    5. 11.4 Hyperbolas
    6. 11.5 Solve Systems of Nonlinear Equations
    7. Key Terms
    8. Key Concepts
    9. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  13. 12 Sequences, Series and Binomial Theorem
    1. Introduction
    2. 12.1 Sequences
    3. 12.2 Arithmetic Sequences
    4. 12.3 Geometric Sequences and Series
    5. 12.4 Binomial Theorem
    6. Key Terms
    7. Key Concepts
    8. Exercises
      1. Review Exercises
      2. Practice Test
  14. 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
    10. Chapter 10
    11. Chapter 11
    12. Chapter 12
  15. Index

4.1 Solve Systems of Linear Equations with Two Variables

  • How to solve a system of linear equations by graphing.
    1. Step 1. Graph the first equation.
    2. Step 2. Graph the second equation on the same rectangular coordinate system.
    3. Step 3. Determine whether the lines intersect, are parallel, or are the same line.
    4. Step 4. Identify the solution to the system.
      If the lines intersect, identify the point of intersection. This is the solution to the system.
      If the lines are parallel, the system has no solution.
      If the lines are the same, the system has an infinite number of solutions.
    5. Step 5. Check the solution in both equations.
  • How to solve a system of equations by substitution.
    1. Step 1. Solve one of the equations for either variable.
    2. Step 2. Substitute the expression from Step 1 into the other equation.
    3. Step 3. Solve the resulting equation.
    4. Step 4. Substitute the solution in Step 3 into either of the original equations to find the other variable.
    5. Step 5. Write the solution as an ordered pair.
    6. Step 6. Check that the ordered pair is a solution to both original equations.
  • How to solve a system of equations by elimination.
    1. Step 1. Write both equations in standard form. If any coefficients are fractions, clear them.
    2. Step 2. Make the coefficients of one variable opposites.
      Decide which variable you will eliminate.
      Multiply one or both equations so that the coefficients of that variable are opposites.
    3. Step 3. Add the equations resulting from Step 2 to eliminate one variable.
    4. Step 4. Solve for the remaining variable.
    5. Step 5. Substitute the solution from Step 4 into one of the original equations. Then solve for the other variable.
    6. Step 6. Write the solution as an ordered pair.
    7. Step 7. Check that the ordered pair is a solution to both original equations.
      Choose the Most Convenient Method to Solve a System of Linear EquationsGraphing—————Substitution———————Elimination———————Use when you need apicture of the situation.Use when one equation isalready solved or can beeasily solved for onevariable.Use when the equations arein standard form.Choose the Most Convenient Method to Solve a System of Linear EquationsGraphing—————Substitution———————Elimination———————Use when you need apicture of the situation.Use when one equation isalready solved or can beeasily solved for onevariable.Use when the equations arein standard form.

4.2 Solve Applications with Systems of Equations

  • How To Solve Applications with Systems of Equations
    1. Step 1. Read the problem. Make sure all the words and ideas are understood.
    2. Step 2. Identify what we are looking for.
    3. Step 3. Name what we are looking for. Choose variables to represent those quantities.
    4. Step 4. Translate into a system of equations.
    5. Step 5. Solve the system of equations using good algebra techniques.
    6. Step 6. Check the answer in the problem and make sure it makes sense.
    7. Step 7. Answer the question with a complete sentence.

4.3 Solve Mixture Applications with Systems of Equations

  • Cost function: The cost function is the cost to manufacture each unit times x, the number of units manufactured, plus the fixed costs.
    C(x)=(cost per unit)·x+fixed costsC(x)=(cost per unit)·x+fixed costs
  • Revenue: The revenue function is the selling price of each unit times x, the number of units sold.
    R(x)=(sellingpriceperunit)·xR(x)=(sellingpriceperunit)·x
  • Break-even point: The break-even point is when the revenue equals the costs.
    C(x)=R(x)C(x)=R(x)

4.4 Solve Systems of Equations with Three Variables

  • Linear Equation in Three Variables: A linear equation with three variables, where a, b, c, and d are real numbers and a, b, and c are not all 0, is of the form
    ax+by+cz=dax+by+cz=d

    Every solution to the equation is an ordered triple, (x,y,z)(x,y,z) that makes the equation true.
  • How to solve a system of linear equations with three variables.
    1. Step 1. Write the equations in standard form
      If any coefficients are fractions, clear them.
    2. Step 2. Eliminate the same variable from two equations.
      Decide which variable you will eliminate.
      Work with a pair of equations to eliminate the chosen variable.
      Multiply one or both equations so that the coefficients of that variable are opposites.
      Add the equations resulting from Step 2 to eliminate one variable
    3. Step 3. Repeat Step 2 using two other equations and eliminate the same variable as in Step 2.
    4. Step 4. The two new equations form a system of two equations with two variables. Solve this system.
    5. Step 5. Use the values of the two variables found in Step 4 to find the third variable.
    6. Step 6. Write the solution as an ordered triple.
    7. Step 7. Check that the ordered triple is a solution to all three original equations.

4.5 Solve Systems of Equations Using Matrices

  • Matrix: A matrix is a rectangular array of numbers arranged in rows and columns. A matrix with m rows and n columns has order m×n.m×n. The matrix on the left below has 2 rows and 3 columns and so it has order 2×3.2×3. We say it is a 2 by 3 matrix.
    Figure shows two matrices. The one on the left has the numbers minus 3, minus 2 and 2 in the first row and the numbers minus 1, 4 and 5 in the second row. The rows and columns are enclosed within brackets. Thus, it has 2 rows and 3 columns. It is labeled 2 cross 3 or 2 by 3 matrix. The matrix on the right is similar but with 3 rows and 4 columns. It is labeled 3 by 4 matrix.
    Each number in the matrix is called an element or entry in the matrix.
  • Row Operations: In a matrix, the following operations can be performed on any row and the resulting matrix will be equivalent to the original matrix.
    • Interchange any two rows
    • Multiply a row by any real number except 0
    • Add a nonzero multiple of one row to another row
  • Row-Echelon Form: For a consistent and independent system of equations, its augmented matrix is in row-echelon form when to the left of the vertical line, each entry on the diagonal is a 1 and all entries below the diagonal are zeros.
    Figure shows two matrices. The one on the left has the numbers minus 3, minus 2 and 2 in the first row and the numbers minus 1, 4 and 5 in the second row. The rows and columns are enclosed within brackets. Thus, it has 2 rows and 3 columns. It is labeled 2 cross 3 or 2 by 3 matrix. The matrix on the right is similar but with 3 rows and 4 columns. It is labeled 3 by 4 matrix.
  • How to solve a system of equations using matrices.
    1. Step 1. Write the augmented matrix for the system of equations.
    2. Step 2. Using row operations get the entry in row 1, column 1 to be 1.
    3. Step 3. Using row operations, get zeros in column 1 below the 1.
    4. Step 4. Using row operations, get the entry in row 2, column 2 to be 1.
    5. Step 5. Continue the process until the matrix is in row-echelon form.
    6. Step 6. Write the corresponding system of equations.
    7. Step 7. Use substitution to find the remaining variables.
    8. Step 8. Write the solution as an ordered pair or triple.
    9. Step 9. Check that the solution makes the original equations true.

4.6 Solve Systems of Equations Using Determinants

  • Determinant: The determinant of any square matrix [abcd],[abcd], where a, b, c, and d are real numbers, is
    |abcd|=adbc|abcd|=adbc
  • Expanding by Minors along the First Row to Evaluate a 3 × 3 Determinant: To evaluate a 3×33×3 determinant by expanding by minors along the first row, the following pattern:
    A 3 by 3 determinant is equal to a1 times minor of a1 minus b1 times minor of b1 plus c1 times minor of c1.
  • Sign Pattern: When expanding by minors using a row or column, the sign of the terms in the expansion follow the following pattern.
    |+++++||+++++|
  • Cramer’s Rule: For the system of equations {a1x+b1y=k1a2x+b2y=k2,{a1x+b1y=k1a2x+b2y=k2, the solution (x,y)(x,y) can be determined by
    x is Dx upon D and y is Dy upon D where D is determinant with row 1: a1, b1 and row 2 a2, b2, use coefficients of the variables; Dx is determinant with row 1: k1, b1 and row 2: k2, b2, replace the x coefficients with the consonants; Dy is determinant with row 1: a1, k1 and row 2: a2, k2, replace the y coefficients with constants.
    Notice that to form the determinant D, we use take the coefficients of the variables.
  • How to solve a system of two equations using Cramer’s rule.
    1. Step 1. Evaluate the determinant D, using the coefficients of the variables.
    2. Step 2. Evaluate the determinant Dx.Dx. Use the constants in place of the x coefficients.
    3. Step 3. Evaluate the determinant Dy.Dy. Use the constants in place of the y coefficients.
    4. Step 4. Find x and y. x=DxD,x=DxD, y=DyD.y=DyD.
    5. Step 5. Write the solution as an ordered pair.
    6. Step 6. Check that the ordered pair is a solution to both original equations.
    7. Step 7. Dependent and Inconsistent Systems of Equations: For any system of equations, where the value of the determinant D=0,D=0,
      Value of determinantsType of systemSolutionD=0andDx,DyandDzare all zeroconsistent and dependentinfinitely many solutionsD=0andDx,DyandDzare not all zeroinconsistentno solutionValue of determinantsType of systemSolutionD=0andDx,DyandDzare all zeroconsistent and dependentinfinitely many solutionsD=0andDx,DyandDzare not all zeroinconsistentno solution
    8. Step 8. Test for Collinear Points: Three points (x1,y1),(x1,y1), (x2,y2),(x2,y2), and (x3,y3)(x3,y3) are collinear if and only if
      |x1y11x2y21x3y31|=0|x1y11x2y21x3y31|=0

4.7 Graphing Systems of Linear Inequalities

  • Solutions of a System of Linear Inequalities: Solutions of a system of linear inequalities are the values of the variables that make all the inequalities true. The solution of a system of linear inequalities is shown as a shaded region in the x, y coordinate system that includes all the points whose ordered pairs make the inequalities true.
  • How to solve a system of linear inequalities by graphing.
    1. Step 1. Graph the first inequality.
      Graph the boundary line.
      Shade in the side of the boundary line where the inequality is true.
    2. Step 2. On the same grid, graph the second inequality.
      Graph the boundary line.
      Shade in the side of that boundary line where the inequality is true.
    3. Step 3. The solution is the region where the shading overlaps.
    4. Step 4. Check by choosing a test point.
Citation/Attribution

Want to cite, share, or modify this book? This book is Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 and you must attribute OpenStax.

Attribution information
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a print format, then you must include on every physical page the following attribution:
    Access for free at https://openstax.org/books/intermediate-algebra-2e/pages/1-introduction
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a digital format, then you must include on every digital page view the following attribution:
    Access for free at https://openstax.org/books/intermediate-algebra-2e/pages/1-introduction
Citation information

© Sep 2, 2020 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 license. The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.