MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

186 views

What are "x" and "y" and why are they used?

The letters "x" and "y", or any other similar letter in an equation, are examples of unknown variables

What this means is that we don't know their value, and often the aim of the game is to work this out.

You've been using unknown variables for ages. For example, if you were given a basket and told that: a) it had 20 pieces of fruit; b) it only had bananas and apples in it; and c) it had 12 bananas in it, then you can work out that the basket had 8 apples.

This can be shown using unknown variables - the principle is the same:

When x = apples...

12 + x = 20 

x = 20 - 12

x = 8.

More complicated equations work on the same principle - it's just a way for us to find out a value we need to know!

Colm M. GCSE English Literature tutor, GCSE Economics tutor, GCSE His...

6 months ago

Answered by Colm, a GCSE Maths tutor with MyTutor

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

328 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£30 /hr

Adam D.

Degree: Economics and Management (Bachelors) - Bristol University

Subjects offered: Maths, Economics

Maths
Economics

“I am a second year undergraduate student at the University of Bristol, studying Economics and Management. I achieved A* in Economics and Maths A-levels and an A* at maths GCSE so would be very happy to help any students who are studyi...”

£18 /hr

Emma F.

Degree: Medicine (Bachelors) - St. Andrews Unversity University

Subjects offered: Maths, -Personal Statements-+ 1 more

Maths
-Personal Statements-
-Medical School Preparation-

“Hi there! My name is Emma and I am currently a 2nd year medical student at the University of St. Andrews. GCSE Mathematics: Maths was always one of the subjects I enjoyed most at school - when faced with a problem that initially ...”

MyTutor guarantee

£18 /hr

Isaac H.

Degree: International Relations (Bachelors) - Exeter University

Subjects offered: Maths, History+ 1 more

Maths
History
Economics

“I have been tutoring professionally now for over a year. I am incredibly passionate about my students and have a genuine desire to see them succeed in their exams. I will put every minute of the lesson towards this goal. A survivor of...”

About the author

Colm M.

Currently unavailable: for new students

Degree: MPhil in Modern British History (Masters) - Cambridge University

Subjects offered: Maths, History+ 3 more

Maths
History
English Literature
Economics
.HAT.

“About me: I'm a student at the University of Cambridge doing a Masters in Modern British History. I have astrong passion for History, English Literature and Economics (all of which I still study to some extent), and I also have extens...”

You may also like...

Posts by Colm

Do you need to quote other historians in exams?

What are "x" and "y" and why are they used?

What's the difference between a histogram and a bar chart?

What's the difference between direct and indirect taxation

Other GCSE Maths questions

Write 825 as a product of its prime factors.

How do you find the equation of a straight line on a graph?

What's the difference between the mean, median and mode?

What is 45% of 60?

View GCSE Maths tutors

Cookies:

We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok