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How would you balance: Al(s) + HNO3(aq) --> Al(NO3)3(aq) + H2(g)?
##2Al + 6HNO_3 -> 2Al(NO_3)_3 + 3H_2##
Most students are reluctant to double the beginning compound/element. Don't be afraid to.
A helpful tool is to write out each element and count up how many of them are on each side. Then edit those amounts each time WITHOUT doubling back on yourself.
If you just changed the number to match the other side, leave it and change something else first.