**So I’m sure you’ve heard the word variable before. Let’s find out what that is**

**What is a variable?**

**For the first time ever, you can throw letters, globs, ducks, whatever you WANT into a math equation.****A variable is nothing more than a placeholder. Even “😎” can be a variable!****For example, we can define a variable x = 5. Now, we can say that Ethan x donuts. Guess how many donuts I have? I have 5 because we know x = 5.****Now that we know what x is, we can do all kinds of stuff! Say that Zak has x+3 donuts. If we didn’t know what x was, this would make no sense; but, luckily, we do!****This is as simple as 5+3, seriously!****All we do is change x to 5 (since we know that’s what it stands for), giving us 5+3 and a total of 8 donuts for Zak.**

**x will not always be 5. **

**For now, problems will tell you what x is, so just do the same thing as we did before.****Now let's say that I have x nickels in my back pocket. I have twenty nickels in my back pocket. This means now, in this context, x = 20.**

**Your variable will not always be x.**

**As we mentioned earlier, a variable can be***anything*.**While this is technically true, most of the variables you will see will either be called x or y.****It doesn’t matter what the variable is called, you still just change the variable into the number you know it equals.**

**Remember, a variable is just a number, so you can do all the normal operations on variables too!!**

**If a = 9:****a + 1 = 10****a - 4 = 5****3 * a = 27****a / 3 = 3****a2 = 81****√a = 3**