Trish Wrote:

I am really having a hard time understanding translating word expressions into equations, and wondering if you can help?

Example:

1. the sum of 16 times a number and the number less another number times 32. a number less the sum of another number and 13

Workin’ these problems is almost like translating another language. You gotta know exactly what each word translates to a mathematical expression. Here’s a list of how they break down:

+ = “the sum of x and y (you’d put the + where the “and” goes here: x + y)

− = “less” or “minus” (note that if it says something like “a less b” then it’s a − b but if it says “a less than b” it’s b − a)

× = “times” or “the product of a and b” (a times b = a × b)

÷ = “divided by” (a divided by b = a ÷ b)

a,b,c or x,y,z = These are variables, so if it say “a number” that’s one of these variables. You usually wanna start with the first one in a list. Then if it says “another number” you pick the next one. If it said “a third number” you’d pick the last one. I don’t think it’d ever go above three numbers. (a number = a, another number = b, a third number = c) Continue reading