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Translating Verbal & Variable Expressions

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One of the major skills required in applied mathematics is translating a verbal expression into a mathematical
expression. Doing so requires recognizing the verbal phrases that translates into mathematical operations.
Following is a partial list of the verbal phrases used to indicate the different mathematical operations.

Addition More than 8 more than w w+ 8

The sum of the sum of z and 9 z+ 9

The total of the total of r and s r+ s

Increased by x increased by 7 x+7

Subtraction less than 12 less than b b − 12

The difference between the difference between x and 1 x−1

Decreased by 17 decreased by a 17 − a

Multiplication Times Negative 2 times c − 2c

The product of the product of x and y xy

3
Of Three-fourths of m m
4

Twice Twice d 2d

v
Division Divided by v divided by 15
15

y
The quotient of The quotient of y and 3
3

Power The square of, or The square of x x2


The second power of

The cube of, or The cube of r r3


The third power of

Saved: How To Solve Word Problems - webpage Source:Math 3100 Textbook Pre-Algebra, by Aufmann, Barker, & Lockwood