7 Proven Difference between Expression and Equation with Comparison Table

What is the difference between expression and equation?

Basic math is taught in grade school while colleges and universities are taught advanced mathematical concepts such as expression and equation.

The lesson provides a detailed insight into the difference between expression and equation with examples for easier understanding.

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Difference between Expression and Equation

What Is An Expression?

An expression is a mathematical phrase that combines numbers, variables, and operators to imply something.

An expression can be arithmetic, algebraic, polynomial, and analytical. It does not contain an equal sign. Examples of expressions are 9x + 2, x – 9, 3p + 5, 4m + 10

What Is An Equation?

An equation is a mathematical statement where two expressions are equated to each other. An equation can either be a condition or identity.

The conditional equation is where the equality of two expressions is true for a definite value of the variable involved. The identity equation is where the equality is true for all the values held by the variable.

Main Types of Equation

  1. Cubic Equation such as 9x3 + 2x2 + 4x -3 = 13
  2. Quadratic Equation such as 2x2 + 7x + 13 = 0
  3. Linear Equation such as 3x + 13 = 8x – 2
  4. Simultaneous Linear Equation comprise of two linear equations such as 3x + 2y = 5, 5x + 3y = 7

Comparison Chart: Expression Vs Equation

Basic Terms Expression Equation
Definition The mathematical phrase that contains variables, numbers, and operator to imply something Mathematical statement comprising of two expressions set equal to each other
What is it? A sentence fragment that stands for a single numerical value. A statement that shows equality between two expressions
Result Simplification Solution
Relation symbol No Yes equal sign
Sides One-sided Two side
Answer Numerical value An assertion
Example 10x – 2(9x + 15) 14x – 10= 38

Core Differences Between Expression and Equation In Point Form 

  1. Expressions are incomplete mathematical phrases while equations are complete mathematical statements.
  2. Equations tend to have solutions at the end unlike expressions
  3. Expressions can be simplified while equations can be solved
  4. Expressions do not have equal sign while equation has an equal sign
  5. The expression does not show any relationship while the equation shows the relationship between two sides.
  6. Expressions have one side whereas equations have two sides
  7. Example of expression is A+2A while equation is A+2A=3A

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Comparison Video


Expressions and equations are quite common when learning some common concepts of mathematics not in grade school level.

The difference between expression and equation listed in the guide above will help you gain knowledge in mathematical concepts

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