
Translating Word Problems: Examples (page 2 of 2) Sections: Keywords, Worked examples
This translates to "8 + y"
This translates to "x – 4" Remember? "Less than" is backwards in the math from how you say it in words!
This translates to "13x"
This translates to "^{ x}/_{3}"
This translates to "5 – y"
This translates to "(x + 9) / x"
This translates to "(n + 2) – 9", which then simplifies to "n – 7" Here are some more wordy examples:
Whatever the width w is, the length is 30 more than this. Recall that "more than" means "plus that much", so you'll be adding 30 to w. The expression they're looking for is "w + 30". This one is important: Copyright © Elizabeth Stapel 20002011 All Rights Reserved
The expression they're looking for is found by this reasoning: There are twenty gallons total, and we've already poured g gallons of it. How many gallons are left? There are 20 – g gallons left. They want the answer "20 – g". This is the "how much is left" construction: You will be given some total amount. Smaller amounts, of unspecified sizes, are added (combined, mixed, etc) to create this total amount. You will pick a variable to stand for one of these unknown amounts. After having thus accounted for one of the amounts, the remaining amount is whatever is left after deducting this named amount from the total.
I'm making a big deal about this "how much is left" construction because it comes up a lot and tends to cause a lot of confusion. Make sure you understand this one! Once you've learned to translate phrases into expressions and sentences into equations, you are ready to dive into word problems. Of course, there are infinitelymany possible word problems (physics is all word problems; business math is all word problems; "real life" can feel like an essay question...). The following links lead to explanations and examples of some basic types of word problems that you can expect to see in your classes: "Age"
problems, involving figuring out how old people are, were, or will
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