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This module is from Fundamentals of Mathematics by Denny Burzynski and Wade Ellis, Jr. This module discusses how to translate word to mathematical symbols. By the end of the module students should be able to translate phrases and statements to mathematical expressions and equations.

Section overview

  • Translating Words to Symbols

Translating words to symbols

Practical problems seldom, if ever, come in equation form. The job of the problem solver is to translate the problem from phrases and statements into mathematical expressions and equations, and then to solve the equations.

As problem solvers, our job is made simpler if we are able to translate verbal phrases to mathematical expressions and if we follow the five-step method of solving applied problems. To help us translate from words to symbols, we can use the following Mathematics Dictionary.

MATHEMATICS DICTIONARY
Word or Phrase Mathematical Operation
Sum, sum of, added to, increased by, more than, and, plus +
Difference, minus, subtracted from, decreased by, less, less than -
Product, the product of, of, multiplied by, times, per
Quotient, divided by, ratio, per ÷
Equals, is equal to, is, the result is, becomes =
A number, an unknown quantity, an unknown, a quantity x size 12{x} {} (or any symbol)

Sample set a

Translate each phrase or sentence into a mathematical expression or equation.

Nine 9 more than + some number. x

Translation: 9 + x size 12{9+x} {} .

Eighteen 18 minus - a number. x

Translation: 18 x size 12{"18" - x} {} .

A quantity y less - five. 5

Translation: y 5 size 12{y - 5} {} .

Four 4 times a number x is = sixteen. 16

Translation: 4 x = 16 size 12{4x="16"} {} .

One fifth 1 5  of  a number n  is =  thirty. 30

Translation: 1 5 n = 30 size 12{ { {1} over {5} } n="30"} {} , or n 5 = 30 size 12{ { {n} over {5} } ="30"} {} .

 Five 5  times  a number x  is =  two 2  more than +  twice 2  the number. x

Translation: 5 x = 2 + 2 x size 12{5x=2+2x} {} .

Practice set a

Translate each phrase or sentence into a mathematical expression or equation.

Twelve more than a number.

12 + x size 12{"12"+x} {}

Eight minus a number.

8 x size 12{8 - x} {}

An unknown quantity less fourteen.

x 14 size 12{x - "14"} {}

Six times a number is fifty-four.

6 x = 54 size 12{6x="54"} {}

Two ninths of a number is eleven.

2 9 x = 11 size 12{ { {2} over {9} } x="11"} {}

Three more than seven times a number is nine more than five times the number.

3 + 7 x = 9 + 5 x size 12{3+7x=9+5x} {}

Twice a number less eight is equal to one more than three times the number.

2 x 8 = 3 x + 1 size 12{2x - 8=3x+1} {} or 2 x 8 = 1 + 3 x size 12{2x - 8=1+3x} {}

Sample set b

Sometimes the structure of the sentence indicates the use of grouping symbols. We’ll be alert for commas . They set off terms.

A number ( x divided by ÷ four, 4 ) minus - six, 6 is = twelve 12

Translation: x 4 6 = 12 size 12{ { {x} over {4} } - 6="12"} {} .

Some phrases and sentences do not translate directly. We must be careful to read them properly. The word from often appears in such phrases and sentences. The word from means “a point of departure for motion.” The following translation will illustrate this use.

The statement twenty is subtracted from some number can be broken into three parts and converted into a mathematical expression. Some number becomes x, the phrase, is subtracted from, becomes a minus symbol, and twenty becomes the number 20. This translates to the expression x - 20.

Translation: x 20 size 12{x - "20"} {} .

The word from indicated the motion (subtraction) is to begin at the point of “some number.”

Ten less than some number. Notice that less than can be replaced by from .

Ten from some number.

Translation: x 10 size 12{x - "10"} {} .

Practice set b

Translate each phrase or sentence into a mathematical expression or equation.

A number divided by eight, plus seven, is fifty.

x 8 + 7 = 50 size 12{ { {x} over {8} } +7="50"} {}

A number divided by three, minus the same number multiplied by six, is one more than the number.

2 3 6 x = x + 1 size 12{ { {2} over {3} } - 6x=x+1} {}

Questions & Answers

anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
NANO
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
NANO
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
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Cied
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
China
Cied
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
Porter
many many of nanotubes
Porter
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Yasmin
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
Cesar
I'm interested in nanotube
Uday
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
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Source:  OpenStax, Algebra i for the community college. OpenStax CNX. Dec 19, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11598/1.3
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