Difference Between Expression vs Equation

Difference Between Expression vs Equation

If you are just getting started with mathematics, you will come across the difference between equation and expression. The two math concepts both have numbers, operators, and variables. As a result, some beginners find it pretty difficult to spot the distinction between them.

To be clear, the two terms are not the same, and the disparity is often seen in their arrangements. If you are one of those who cannot tell which is which, do not sweat it. This guide will reveal everything you need to know about the terms. We will start by defining the terms.

Definition of Expression

Expression is a set of numbers, letters, and combinations that are joined by operators to represent something of value. If you do not know what it is, operators are signs like addition (+), subtraction (-), division (/), etc. It can be an algebra, polynomial, or analytics. It is noteworthy that it contains no equality (=), meaning that they do not show any form of relationship.

Sometimes, you may have to find the values of variables. For instance, you may have 2x + 5. In the example, 2 and 5 are the numbers, x is the letter or variable, and + is the operator. Oftentimes, getting the value of X means that it has to be given and solved by evaluation or substitution. The example shows that it is just one side.

Definition of Equation

Equation is a statement or sentence that uses letters, combinations, and numbers to represent something of value. However, it has an equality sign (=), which shows that two statements or a sentence and figure are equal to each other. Given the presence of an equality symbol, it means that a missing variable can be solved by calculating the known values.

It can be conditional or an identity. It must have an equality sign, which makes it have two sides. The presence of the symbol also brings about relationship in it. Before going any further into the difference between expression and equation, we have to give some examples of the latter. It has four major types: simple or linear, simultaneous, quadratic, and cubic equations.

The examples are as follows:

  • Simple or linear: 5x + 2 = 15
  • Simultaneous: 3x + 2 = 4x – 3
  • Quadratic: 3x2 – x + 16 = 0
  • Cubic: 6x3 – 3x2 + 5x – 5 = 16

From the examples above, they keep increasing in complexity as it moves from simple to cubic. They all have formulae or rules for solving them.

Main Differences Between Expression vs Equation

Having come thus far, we have already made some progress. The table below simplifies the disparities better.

Basis of ComparisonExpressionEquation
MeaningThis is a set of variables, operators and numbers that is used to represent something of valueThese are 2 statements with an equality sign, showing that they are equal to each other
SymbolsIt contains no equality symbolIt has an equality (=)
Number of statements (sides)Just one-sided group   It contains 2 equal sentences
Getting the resultWhere the variables are not known, it is solved by substituting the values (evaluation)The variables are worked out using certain rules but not by evaluation or substitution
RelationshipIt has no relationships as it just one sentenceThe relationship between the 2 sentences is that they are equal
Example10x + 3y + 53x + 5y – 8 = 40

Difference Between Expression and Equation: Conclusion

The table above gives vivid discrepancies between expression vs equation. From the foregoing, you can easily work out the values of the variables by evaluating the unknown variables. On the other hand, the same cannot be said of an equation because you have to follow certain rules to work out the solution.

As a result, it is much easier to find the solution of expression. What’s more is that the major distinction between the two concepts is the equality sign. We cannot wrap up this topic on equation vs expression without mentioning that the presence of an equality symbol in the former makes it a two-sided statement. As a result, it is more difficult to work out.