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Reflexive Property

Learn about the reflexive property.

Reflexive Property Lesson

Reflexive Property of Equality Definition

In math, the reflexive property tells us that a number is equal to itself. Also known as the reflexive property of equality, it is the basis for many mathematical principles. Since the reflexive property of equality says that a = a, we can use it do many things with algebra to help us solve equations.

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Examples of the Reflexive Property

Here are some examples showing the reflexive property of equality being applied:

5∙3 = 3∙5
Even though both sides don’t have their numbers ordered the same way, they both equal 15 and we are therefore able to equate them due to the reflexive property of equality.

16 – 3 = -3 + 16
The operators and order of numbers of both sides do not match, yet the reflexive property of equality tells us that a number equals itself. Each side simplifies to 13, so they are equal.

Side AB = Side BC and Side BC = Side CD, so Side AB = Side CD
This is a geometry example that uses the reflexive property of equality to equate congruent sides.

The reflexive property may seem so trivial that we question why it is even taught in mathematics, but after going through these examples we can hopefully see how countless algebraic principles and techniques can be built off of it.

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