If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content

One-step multiplication equations

In this math lesson, we learn to solve equations with x divided by a number, like x/3 = 14. To find x, we isolate it by multiplying both sides of the equation by the divisor (3). This gives us x = 42. Finally, we check our answer by substituting x back into the original equation to make sure it's correct. Created by Sal Khan and Monterey Institute for Technology and Education.

Want to join the conversation?

Video transcript

Solve for x and check your solution. We have x divided by 3 is equal to 14. So to solve for x, to figure out what the variable x must be equal to, we really just have to isolate it on the left-hand side of this equation. It's already sitting there. We have x divided by 3 is equal to 14. We could also write this as 1/3 x is equal to 14. Obviously, x times 1/3 is going to be x/3. These are equivalent. So how can we just end up with an x on the left-hand side of either of these equations? These are really the same thing. Or another way, how can we just have a 1 in front of the x, a 1x, which is really just saying x over here? Well, I'm dividing it by 3 right now. So if I were to multiply both sides of this equation by 3, that would isolate the x. And the reason that would work is if I multiply this by 3 over here, I'm multiplying by 3 and dividing by 3. That's equivalent. That's equivalent to multiplying or dividing by 1. These guys cancel out. Remember, if you do it to the left-hand side, you also have to do it to the right-hand side. And actually, I'll do both of these equations at the same time, because they're really the exact same equation. So what are we going to get over here on the left-hand side? 3 times anything divided by 3 is going to be that anything. We're just going to have an x left over on the left-hand side. And on the right-hand side, what's 14 times 3? 3 times 10 is 30, 3 times 4 is 12. So it's going to be 42. So we get x is equal to 42. And the same thing would happen here. 3 times 1/3 is just 1. So you get 1x is equal to 14 times 3, which is 42. Now let's just check our answer. Let's substitute 42 into our original equation. So we have 42 in place for x over 3 is equal to 14. So what's 42 divided by 3? And we could do a little bit of-- I guess we call it medium-long division. It's not really long division. 3 into 4. 3 goes into 4 one time. 1 times 3 is 3. You subtract. 4 minus 3 is 1. Bring down the 2. 3 goes into 12 four times. 3 goes into 42 14 times. So this right over here simplifies to 14. And it all checks out, so we're done.