Assorted algebraic questions ( Read this before asking some questions! )

Im trying to lessen the stress put on people that answer maths qustions when the answers are in a previous post. So the big prob is when I was discussing algebra with a friend. I had arranged a simple question for him.

x+y=??? ( x and y are the variables. )

He had answered 2. I gave a brief explanation that a definite solution to the problem is impossible, unless the actual value of x and y is found.

He then said that if no definite answer is found, then the number 1 is used to substitute BOTH the variables in the equation.

Feeling disraught, I concluded the conversation and thought about what my friend had said. If 1 the value for x and y, then wouldnt the symbol representing one be the same? and is the thing about when a variable is unknwon, 1 is used to substitute? Help!! ( Oh yes, please forgive my poor grammare. I came from china) Should a year 8 student know all this stuff already? i am in year 8, and the top class i am in also. thank you for reading through all this clutter, i hope you will answer my questins.