Can you give the mathematical expressions for these words?
- Seventy three minus forty -two
- Twelve less two
- Six times fifteen
- Thirty plus eleven take away nine
Sometimes, in a mathematical expression, we use letters to represent numbers we do not know.
If we say that there were some people at a party and 7 people left, we can show this as an expression, n-7, where n represents the number of people in the party.
If there were 12 people at the party, then n would represent 12. If there were 20 people at the party, then n would represent 20.
These letters are called variable because they can represent any number.
CHECKPOINT: When we write an expression using variables, words and/or operations, it is called an algebraic expression.
Let p be the number of pencils in your pencil box. Study the algebraic expressions for each:
12 pencils more than the number of pencils in your box → p + 12 or 12 + p
4 pencils less than the number of pencils in your box → p – 4
Three times the number of pencils in your box. → 3 × p also written as 3p
The number of pencils in your box divided by 4 → p ÷ 4 also written as p/4
Here, the expressions have been put into words. The unknown number or the variable is w.
18 + w → w added to 18
10 – w → w subtracted from 10
7w → The product of w and 7
6 ÷ w → 6 divided by w
If we know that w = 3, Then expressions above can be simplified and a value can be obtained for each expression.
If we substitute 3 in place of w, we get
18 + w = 18 + 3 = 21
10 – w = 10 – 3 = 7
7w = 7 × 3 = 21
6 ÷ w = 6 ÷ 3 = 2