Hi, I am a beginner so go easy if this is a silly question!

I am trying to play 'The End Of The Beginning' by Nine Inch Nails. Most tab versions have what appears to be power chords on the E and D strings but with the A string not played (denoted by an x)

For example:
----x--x--x--x ---x--x--x--x

Not quite sure how this should be played. It's laid out as a chord but how do I not play the A if I am strumming it? If it was an open string I would get it, but it's clearly telling me not to play it.

I've seen this quite a bit but have avoided playing such tracks, which is just daft.

Any advice much appreciated!
Thanks for that! So, if I'm picking that up correctly, I mute the A string with the pad of my finger. Right? Told you I was a beginner...
Not knowing that those notes were octaves means you need to learn a little theory too.
Yup, those are octaves, i.e the same not but one is one octave higher in pitch than the other.

Mute the A string with the pad of your index finger you are using to fret the E string. To make extra sure its muted correctly you could even use the very tip of your finger youre using to fret the D string to lightly touch the A string also, effectively meaning youre lightly touching the A string with two fingers to ensure it doesnt ring out
i like doing octaves using hybrid picking (i.e. i pick the lower-pitched string with the plectrum and the higher-pitched string with my middle finger)... sort of makes the muting not as important
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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Hold your index finger on the 5th fret/6 string. -Use your index to mute all other strings too.

Ring finger or pinky on 7th fret, D string. Strum ;D At about 2:35 of that movie he shows you the fundamentals of it.