Algebra has its own language of symbols. Like any other language, you first must learn the basic vocabulary and the correct ways to structure sentences, or, in this case, equations, before it will all start making sense to you. Once you do understand it, you will find that this is an incredibly useful language to know. Even in spite of the fact that it is impossible to swear in algebra.
After you have become familiar with expressions, equations, and formulas, we can rearrange them into different forms and evaluate (solve) them to calculate things. We don't just rearrange them to improve our equation's feng shui - there is actually a reason for it. The skills of rearranging and evaluating expressions will be called upon in almost every math class you ever take, and therefore, it would behoove you to become a pro at it. No worries if you don't know the word "behoove," however. This ain't English class.
The Language of Algebra
Ever feel like your math teacher is speaking a different language? Sometimes it isn't just the thick Chicago accent. Mathematics does have its own language: a language of symbols. Let's take a look at what some of those mysterious symbols are, and see if we can't decipher what they mean. If we can't, then this is a sad, sorry excuse for an algebra guide.