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Cross multiplication is a valuable mathematical technique used to solve proportions and equations involving fractions. It enables us to compare the relative sizes of two ratios and find a missing value within the equation. By understanding and applying the concept of cross multiplication, individuals can simplify complex mathematical problems and make their calculations more efficient. In this guide, we will delve into the fundamentals of cross multiplication, learn how to use it effectively, and apply it to solve various mathematical problems. Whether you are a student seeking to improve your algebra skills or an adult who wants to refresh your knowledge, this introduction to cross multiplication will help you gain a solid foundation in this essential mathematical technique.

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Cross multiplication is a way of solving equations where the variable is in two equal fractions. The variable represents an unknown value, and the cross-multiplication reduces the rule of triangles to a simple equation, allowing you to solve problems to find the variable. The cross-multiplication method is especially useful if you want to calculate proportions. Here’s how to do it:

## Steps

### For an equation with one variable

**Multiply the numerator of the fraction on the left by the denominator of the fraction on the right.**For example, we have the equation

*2/x = 10/13.*Proceed to multiply 2 by 13. We have 2 * 13 = 26.

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**Multiply the numerator of the fraction on the right by the denominator of the fraction on the left.**Performing multiplication with variables, we multiply x by 10. x * 10 = 10x. You can cross multiply either way first, as long as both the numerator and denominator of the two fractions are multiplied diagonally.

^{[2] X Research Source}

**Put the two results in the equation.**26 would be equivalent to 10x. We have 26 = 10x. The order of the two sides does not matter; since they are equal, you can swap both sides of the equation at the same time without affecting anything.

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- So, to solve the equation 2/x = 10/13 and find x, we have 2 * 13 = x * 10, which is equivalent to 26 = 10x.

**Find x.**With 26 = 10x, you can divide both 26 and 10 by the common denominator of both numbers. Since both are even, both are divisible by 2; 26/2 = 13 and 10/2 = 5. The remaining equation will be 13 = 5x. So, you need to divide both sides of the equation by 5 to find x. We have 13/5 = 5/5, which is equivalent to 13/5 = x. If you want the answer in decimal form, you can divide both sides by 10 to get 26/10 = 10/10, deducing x = 2.6.

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### With an equation with the same two variables

**Multiply the numerator of the fraction on the left by the denominator of the fraction on the right.**

^{[5] X Research Source}Example: the problem asks to find x in the equation:

*(x + 3)/2 = (x + 1)/4*. To start, you take

*(x + 3)**

*4*=

*4(x +3)*=

*4x + 12.*

**Multiply the numerator of the fraction on the right by the denominator of the fraction on the left.**

^{[6] X Research Sources}Doing the same as before, we have

*(x +1)*x 2 =

*2(x +1)*=

*2x + 2.*

**Set both sides equal and combine the same terms.**Now we have

*4x + 12 = 2x + 2.*Let’s put the terms containing

*x*on one side and the term unchanged on the other side of the equation.

- Combine
*4x*and*2x*by moving*2x*to the left side and changing the sign of the term. When you move*2x*to the left, the right side is left with only*2*. On the left side, we have*4x – 2x = 2x,*so*2x*is left. - Do the same with
*12*and*2*by bringing*12*from the left side to the right side and changing the sign of the term. The left side will be*2-12*= -10. - The other equation is 2x = -10.

**Find x.**Now you just need to divide both sides of the equation by

*2*.

*2x/2 = -10/2 => x = -5.*After cross multiplication, we find x = -5. You can double check by substituting x = -5 and trying to see if both sides of the equation are equal. After substituting -5 back into the original equation, we get

*-1 = -1.*

## Advice

- You can check your work by substituting the answers you found in the original equation. If after simplifying the remaining equation is valid, such as 1 = 1, then you have calculated correctly. If the equation after simplifying is not valid, for example 0 = 1 then you are doing it wrong. For example, if we put 2.6 into the first equation, we get 2/(2,6) = 10/13. Multiplying the left side by 5/5 we get 10/13 = 10/13, this equation is valid because after simplifying it will become 1 = 1. So 2.6 is the correct result.
- Note that when you put another number (e.g. 5) into the same equation, you get 2/5 = 10/13. Even if you multiply the left side by 5/5 again, the result will be 10/25 = 10/13 and obviously not. If this is the case, it means that you are wrong while performing the cross multiplication.

This article is co-authored by a team of editors and trained researchers who confirm the accuracy and completeness of the article.

The wikiHow Content Management team carefully monitors the work of editors to ensure that every article is up to a high standard of quality.

This article has been viewed 38,553 times.

Cross multiplication is a way of solving equations where the variable is in two equal fractions. The variable represents an unknown value, and the cross-multiplication reduces the rule of triangles to a simple equation, allowing you to solve problems to find the variable. The cross-multiplication method is especially useful if you want to calculate proportions. Here’s how to do it:

In conclusion, cross multiplication is a simple and effective method for solving equations that involve proportions. By using this technique, we can find the value of an unknown variable by comparing the ratios of two sets of numbers. The process involves multiplying the numerator of one ratio by the denominator of the other ratio and setting them equal to each other. Cross multiplication provides a clear and straightforward approach to solving these types of problems, allowing us to find the desired solution efficiently. Regardless of the complexity of the equation, cross multiplying can be applied, making it a valuable tool for problem solving in various mathematical contexts. By understanding the concept and practicing the method, individuals can develop their skills in solving proportion equations using cross multiplication.

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