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The subequations environment provides a convenient way to number equations in a
group with a subordinate numbering scheme. For example, supposing that the current
equation number is 2.8, write

to get

By putting a \label command immediately after \begin{subequations } you can get a
reference to the parent number; \eqref{grp} from the above example would produce (2)
while \eqref {second } would produce (2a).

You can also use the subequations environment to skip an equation number but record it
in a label. This could be used to give an equation number to a Figure or list, for
example

gives