Is there a simple way to grab or reference one side of an equation?

Minimal example of what I mean:

    eq = x^2==3x
    (*Pseudo Code*)
    in: Grab_lefthandside(eq)
    out: x^2
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ eq[[1]] or First@eq $\endgroup$
    – Jason B.
    Aug 30, 2016 at 13:25
  • $\begingroup$ tested and worked, tyvm. So it is internally an array...? $\endgroup$ Aug 30, 2016 at 13:29
  • $\begingroup$ Check FullForm[eq]. $\endgroup$
    – Karsten7
    Aug 30, 2016 at 13:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @AskingQuestions. Everything (basically) in Mathematica is an expression of which you can take Parts. Sin[x][[1]] gives x, for instance. Even Graphics` objects: look at FullForm[Plot[x, {x, 0, 1}]]. $\endgroup$
    – march
    Aug 30, 2016 at 16:43

1 Answer 1


You can change Equal to List and you will have the list of left and right hand sides of the equation.

First[List @@ (x^2 == 3 x)]
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Part, First, Last, etc. operate on expressions not just a List. There is no need to convert to a List to use them. Try f[a, b, c] // First $\endgroup$
    – Bob Hanlon
    Aug 30, 2016 at 15:27
  • $\begingroup$ That is true. However, I wanted to show how one can extract and manipulate all the objects in an expression. $\endgroup$ Aug 31, 2016 at 5:56

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