In this section, ‘equation’ refers to an equation in one variable, and ‘function’ refers to a function that takes a single input (a number) and gives a single output (a number).
Suppose you're asked to solve the equation $\,x^2 = 1\,$.
You'll need some clarification:
Now, suppose you're asked to find the zeros of the function $\,f\,$ defined by $\,f(x) = x^2 + 1\,$.
That is, you want inputs whose output is zero.
That is, you want values of $\,x\,$ for which $\,f(x) = 0\,$.
That is, you want values of $\,x\,$ for which $\,x^2 + 1 = 0\,$.
That is, you want values of $\,x\,$ for which $\,x^2 = 1\,$.
Now, you'll need the same clarification as above.
Notice something?
Initial request:  Solve the equation $\,x^2 = 1\,$. 
Get an equivalent equation with zero on the righthand side:  $\,x^2 + 1 = 0\,$ 
Define a function $\,f\,$ using the lefthand side of the equation:  $f(x) = x^2 + 1$ 
Rephrase the initial request:  Find the zeros of the function $\,f\,$ defined by $\,f(x) = x^2 + 1\,$. 
Initial request:  Find the zeros of the function $\,f\,$ defined by $\,f(x) = x^2 + 1\,$. 
Set $\,f(x)\,$ equal to zero:  $\,x^2 + 1 = 0\,$ 
Rephrase the initial request:  Solve the equation $\,x^2 + 1 = 0\,$. 
In both cases, you'll need clarification.
Are you wanting only real number solutions/zeros?
Or, are you allowing any complex number for the solutions/zeros?
On this exercise, you will not key in your answer. However, you can check to see if your answer is correct. 
PROBLEM TYPES:
