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 = Ï€r², it’s called a numerical equation â€“ 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: