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I am trying to learn mathematics from the beginning, i.e. trying to form a solid foundation and understanding of basic concepts that I should have learned in high school.

I am working through Basic Mathematics by Serge Lang and I love the book so far. It is terse and dry in places but I like that, it forces me to really think through things for myself and research other sources when I'm stuck. Well, I think I'm somewhat stuck right now.

I don't know if I understood the exercise well enough and if my proofs are correct.

If anyone has the book, it is exercise 25, p.26, Algebra, Even and odd integers; divisibility. For those who don't own the book:

Let $d$ be a positive integer. Let $a, b$ be integers. Define $$ a \equiv b \pmod{d} $$ to mean that $a - b$ is divisible by $d$. Prove that if $a \equiv b \pmod{d}$ and $x \equiv y \pmod{d}$, then $$a + x \equiv b + y \pmod{d}$$ and $$ax \equiv by \pmod{d}$$

This was the first time that I met $\equiv$ symbol and $\pmod{d}$. In the book it is only briefly mentioned in the previous exercise (which is the same, just $d = 5$) that we read this "$a$ is congruent to $b$ modulo 5". I went on to research this a bit since I didn't know how to even start but have found most of the explanations too advanced for my level and I couldn't take much away from it. After some time I gave up and checked the solution at the back of the book but I didn't understand it quite well. I took some ideas from it and came up with the following proof, which seems right to me but I would like someone to confirm it since it is somewhat different from the one in the book.

By definition we have $$a - b = dk \implies a = b + dk$$ $$x - y = dl \implies x = y + dl$$ for some integers $k, l$.

Proof of the first statement:

$$\begin{align} a + x & = b + dk + y + dl \\ & = b + y + d(k + l) \\ \end{align} $$ from which we get $$(a + x) - (b + y) = d(k + l).$$ Which is the same as saying $$a + x \equiv b + y \pmod{d}$$

Proof of the second statement:

$$\begin{align} ax & = (b + dk)(y + dl) \\ & = by + bdl + dky + d^2kl \\ & = by + d(bl + ky + dkl) \\ \end{align} $$ $$ax - by = d(bl + ky + dkl).$$ Which we can write $$ax \equiv by \pmod{d}$$

I think I understood what this means, in a way congruence is similar to equality. So it is similar to the situation: If $A = B$ and $C = D$ then $A + C = B + D$, and similarly for multiplication.

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    $\begingroup$ Your work looks fine to me. Good job! $\endgroup$ – paw88789 Feb 3 '15 at 0:10
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    $\begingroup$ What is your question? $\endgroup$ – user133281 Feb 3 '15 at 0:12
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Congratulations, your proof is well.

Regards!

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