Hey forum, I have a pretty straight forward question and it is does placement really matter in algebra?

EX.

Twelve is sixteen less than four times a number. 12 = 4x - 16

So what if I wrote 12=16-4x would I be in the wrong?

How do you know where things are placed?

This is easy but I honestly can say I forgot this stuff but it's somewhere around. Thanks a ton!