Basics of Algebra:

                      Realize that a letter is merely representing a number or a thing.   Apply the concepts of equivalence.   The equal sign means that both sides have to be equal.    

Solving one-step equations:

                    x  + 3 =  8         Reads " x plus three equals eight".    Interpret that something plus 3 will equal eight. What is that something?

                                                 Intuitively, one will say "five".  True. But for the sake of understanding the procedure for  the                                                       multi-step  equations where random thoughts begin confusion, follow along.


                                                                  x + 3 = 8       Since we want to know what x equals. Let's get x alone on one side of the equal sign. (This is called isolating the variable.)      

                                              What's keeping x from being alone?  +3

                                             What's the opposite of +3?                   -3

                                             So subtract three from both sides of the equal sign.