Mathematics for Technology I (Math 1131)

Admin bar avatar
Study Force Academy
Durham College, Mathematics
  • 0 lessons
  • 0 quizzes
  • 10 week duration

Solve Literal Equations

A literal equation is one in which some or all of the constants are represented by letters. Arguably any mathematical formula expressing an actual relationship between its variables is a literal equation. Take the Pythagorean theorem formula as an example.


It consists of three variables, a and b are the side lengths while c represents the length of the hypotenuse. It can manipulated in a couple of ways:


When a formula contains numbers as well, such as the area of a circle, A = πr², it’s called a numerical equation – π is an irrational number. Therefore, given that literal equations don’t have numbers, rearranging them should never yield any numbers. Let’s try rearranging a few equations in the following video:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *