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when using the approximation (removing x when you are subtracting/adding it to something) you must check to make sure that x is less than 5% of the reactant that it is formed from (x will likely be H or OH- so you would use the acid or base)
You put the concentration you got from approximated the concentrations in the equilibrium values (from an ICE table) over the original concentration that's given and if it is less than 5% the approximation is sound, then if not then you have to use the quadratic formula to find the values.
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