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One way that you can help figure out if the reaction is proceeding forwards (-x from reactants) or backwards (-x from products) is to look at the the Keq (equilibrium constant) if it provides it in the question. If the Keq is < (1.0 x 10^3), then the reaction will proceed forward(-x from reactants, +x to products). If the Keq is larger than (1.0 x 10^3), then the reaction will proceed backwards(+x to reactants, -x from products).
If you are only given intial concentrations of the reactant and products and the K value, then create an equilibrium ratio and solve for Q. If Q < K, then the reaction is moving in the forwrd direction, and the reactants will have -x while the product is +x. On the other hand, if Q > K, then the reaction is moving in the reverse direction and the reactants will be -x and products will be +x. *Note: MOST of the time, the reactants will be -x and the products will be +x. Hope that helps!
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