6.6: Absolute Value Inequalities
An absolute value inequality is a combination of two concepts: absolute values and linear inequalities. Therefore, to solve an absolute value inequality, you must use the problemsolving methods of each concept.
 To solve an absolute value equation, use the definition.

If \begin{align*}d=xa\end{align*}
d=x−a , then \begin{align*}xa=d\end{align*}x−a=d OR \begin{align*}xa= d\end{align*}x−a=−d .

If \begin{align*}d=xa\end{align*}
 To solve a linear inequality, use the concepts learned in Lessons 2 and 3 of this chapter.
 Remember, when dividing by a negative, the inequality symbol must be reversed!
Let’s begin by looking at an example.
\begin{align*}x \le 3\end{align*}
Since \begin{align*}x\end{align*}
Notice that this is also the graph for the compound inequality \begin{align*}3 \le x\le 3\end{align*}
Below is a second example.
\begin{align*}x>2\end{align*}
Since the absolute value of \begin{align*}x\end{align*}
In general, the solutions to absolute value inequalities take two forms:
 If \begin{align*}x<a\end{align*}
x<a , then \begin{align*}x<a\end{align*}x<a or \begin{align*}x>a\end{align*}x>−a .  If \begin{align*}x>a\end{align*}
x>a , then \begin{align*}x>a\end{align*}x>a or \begin{align*}x<a\end{align*}x<−a .
Example 1: Solve \begin{align*}x+5>7\end{align*}
Solution: This equation fits situation 2. Therefore, \begin{align*}x+5>7\end{align*}
Solve each inequality separately.
\begin{align*}x+5&>7 && x+5<7 \\
x&>2 && \quad \ \ x<12\end{align*}
The solutions are all values greater than two or less than –12.
Example: The velocity of an object is given by the formula \begin{align*}v=25t80\end{align*}
Solution: We want to find the times when the velocity is greater than or equal to 60 feet per second. Using the formula for velocity \begin{align*}v=25t80\end{align*}
This is an example like case 2. Separate and solve.
\begin{align*}25t80 \ge 60\end{align*}
\begin{align*}25t \ge 140\end{align*}
\begin{align*}t \ge 5.6\end{align*}
Multimedia Links: For more assistance with graphing absolute value inequalities, visit this YouTube video:
Algebra  Inequalities with Absolute Value
Or you can also visit this link on TheMathPage: http://www.themathpage.com/alg/absolutevalue.htm.
Practice Set
Sample explanations for some of the practice exercises below are available by viewing the following video. Note that there is not always a match between the number of the practice exercise in the video and the number of the practice exercise listed in the following exercise set. However, the practice exercise is the same in both.
CK12 Basic Algebra: Absolute Value Inequalities (3:26)
 You are asked to solve \begin{align*}a+1\le 4\end{align*}
a+1≤4 . What two inequalities does this separate into?
In 2 – 21, solve the inequality and show the solution graph.

\begin{align*}x \le 6\end{align*}
x≤6 
\begin{align*}4 \le a+4\end{align*}
4≤a+4 
\begin{align*}x > 3.5\end{align*}
x>3.5 
\begin{align*}6 > 10b+6\end{align*}
6>10b+6 
\begin{align*}x < 12\end{align*}
x<12 
\begin{align*}\left \frac{w}{10}\right  < 2\end{align*}
∣∣w10∣∣<2 
\begin{align*}\left \frac{x}{5}\right  \le 6\end{align*}
∣∣x5∣∣≤6 
\begin{align*}7x \ge 21\end{align*}
7x≥21 
\begin{align*}6c+5 < 47\end{align*}
6c+5<47 
\begin{align*}x5 > 8\end{align*}
x−5>8  \begin{align*}x+7 < 3\end{align*}
 \begin{align*}x\frac{3}{4} \le \frac{1}{2}\end{align*}
 \begin{align*}2x5 \ge 13\end{align*}
 \begin{align*}5x+3<7\end{align*}
 \begin{align*}\left \frac{x}{3}4\right  \le 2\end{align*}
 \begin{align*}\left \frac{2x}{7}+9\right  > \frac{5}{7}\end{align*}
 \begin{align*}6t+3+9 \ge 18\end{align*}
 \begin{align*}9p+5>23\end{align*}
 \begin{align*}2s4\le 6\end{align*}
 \begin{align*}\frac{10m5}{8}>5\end{align*}
 A threemonthold baby boy weighs an average of 13 pounds. He is considered healthy if he is 2.5 pounds more or less than the average weight. Find the weight range that is considered healthy for threemonthold boys.
Mixed Review
 Solve \begin{align*}7u=77\end{align*}.
 A map has a scale of \begin{align*}2 \ inch=125 \ miles\end{align*}. How far apart would two cities be on the map if the actual distance is 945 miles?
 Determine the domain and range: \begin{align*}\left \{(9,0),(6,0),(4,0),(0,0),(3,0),(5,0)\right \}\end{align*}.
 Is the relation in question #25 a function? Explain your reasoning.
 Consider the problem \begin{align*}3(2x7)=100\end{align*}. Lei says the first step to solving this equation is to use the Distributive Property to cancel the parentheses. Hough says the first step to solving this equation is to divide by 3. Who is right? Explain your answer.
 Graph \begin{align*}4x+y=6\end{align*} using its intercepts.
 Write \begin{align*}\frac{3}{30}\end{align*} as a percent. Round to the nearest hundredth.
 Simplify \begin{align*}5\frac{2}{3} \div \frac{71}{8}\end{align*}.
My Notes/Highlights Having trouble? Report an issue.
Color  Highlighted Text  Notes 

Show More 