Translating a Mathematical Phrase into
a Verbal Expression:
Lesson

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Translating in mathematics usually involves changing a verbal phrase, or sentence, into a mathematical phrase, or sentence.
In this lesson we will do the reverse.
We will translate a mathematical phrase, or sentence,
into a verbal phrase.

Let's look at an easy example:

Mathematical Sentence:
x + 13 = 20

Matching Verbal Expression:
"A number increased by thirteen is twenty."

Let's try another (a little tougher)....

Mathematical Sentence:
3y - 7 = 2y + 8

Matching Verbal Expression:
"When three times a number is decreased by seven,
the result is the same as when two times the same number
is increased by eight."

And a little tougher still....

Mathematical Phrase:
85 - 3(a + 7)

Matching Verbal Expression:
"Eighty-five decreased by three times the sum of a number and seven."

Let's try a little multiple choice this time...

Choose the mathematical sentence which matches
the given verbal sentence.
"When eight is subtracted from five times a number the result is six."
a.) 8 - 5x = 6
b.) 5x - 6 = 8
c.) 5x - 8 = 6
d.) 8 - 6x = 5

Let's look for the clues.....
In subtraction, the amount you subtract "from" is written first.
In the sentence we are subtracting "from" "five times a number"
That means that "5x" must be written first.
Therefore only choices "b" and "c" could be correct....
Next clue....
"the result" means "equals"
In the sentence "the result is six", is the same as "equals six"
Only choice "c" equals six....
So the correct translation is choice "c"
"5x - 8 = 6"

For Some More Practice
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