Solving Systems of Equations with Literal Coefficients

In this section, you’ll use the method of addition-subtraction or the method of substitution to solve systems of equations with literal coefficients (coefficients that aren’t numbers). To do this, you treat the coefficients as if they were numbers, keeping in mind what you’ve learned in the past about combining like-terms. What makes these problems confusing is keeping track of what is a coefficients and what are the variables, since they’re both written as letters. Just remember that coefficients are normally written with letters at the beginning of the alphabet (a, b, c), while variables are written with letters at the end (x, y, z).