Thursday, June 9, 2016

High School Math Solutions – Inequalities Calculator, Absolute Value Inequalities Part I

Last post, we learned how to solve rational inequalities. In this post, we will learn how to solve absolute value inequalities. There are two ways to solve these types of inequalities depending on what the inequality sign is. Let’s see how to solve them . . .

Case I (< or ≤):
Given |x|<a, we read this as “x is less than a units for 0.” On a number that looks like:

The red line is the solution for x. Remember because it is “less than,” a is not included in the points (this is why the circle is not filled in).

So we rewrite

The solution is in this form: -a<x<a.
The same goes for ≤. Just substitute ≤ for < and fill in the circles in the number line.

Case II(> or ≥):
Given |x|>a, we read this as “ x is more than a units from 0.” On a number line, that looks like:
The red line is the solution for x. Remember because it is “greater than.” A is not included in the points.

So we rewrite

The solution is 2 inequalities, NOT one. It is in the form: x<-a or x>a.
The same goes for ≥. Just substitute ≥ for > and fill in the circles in the number line.

NOTE: Remember to carry out any algebraic manipulations outside of the absolute value before continuing, for example:
ANOTHER NOTE: Make sure a is positive or else there is no solution.

Let’s see some examples . . .

First example (click here):

Notice that the algebraic manipulations to be done are inside the absolute value, so that is done last.

Last example (click here):

That wasn’t too complicated. Next post, we will learn how to solve absolute value inequalities with two absolute value expressions in it. Make sure you practice because next post the problems will become trickier.

Until next time,



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