SAT Math Term Difficulty Expertise: Translating English Expressions Into Algebraic Expressions


SAT Math: Rating Substantial by Knowing How to Translate From English Into Algebraic Notation,

Component I: Translations Involving Only 1 Arithmetic Operation Pupils who rating higher in the SAT Math are not automatically greater at computation or equation solving. What they are greater at is “difficulty translation,” the potential to translate English expressions into algebraic notation. The good news about issue translation is that small far more is essential than the memorization of a established of principles. In the identical way that, when taking a foreign language, you memorize the truth that “residence” is “Haus” in German, “maison” in French, or “casa” in Spanish, you memorize the truth that “three less than a amount” is prepared as “x – three” in algebraic notation.

Words and phrases indicating addition are plus, sum, overall, greater than, boost, elevated by, much more than. Hence, “the sum of a quantity and 7” would be written as “n + seven.” Observe that we can use any letter as a variable-x, n, w, or w or any other letter we pick.

In addition to recognizing the phrases that point out addition, understand the scenarios in which addition is logically implied. Usually, the idea of improve will imply addition.

Subtraction is a small trickier due to the fact often — but not always — the phrase order of an English phrase indicating subtraction will be the reverse of order of the algebraic expression. Words indicating subtraction are minus, variation, and much less.

Below are some common phrases indicating subtraction and how the corresponding algebraic expressions are created: A variety minus 3 n – three The big difference amongst a quantity and five x – five 3 much less than a amount x – 3 (Observe the reversal of the order.) 7 is subtracted from a number x – 7 (Observe that the word “from” implies a beginning point. If you say, for illustration, that you traveled to New York from Cleveland, that phrase indicates that you started from Cleveland. In algebra, you “started” from x. That’s why, the x need to arrive very first in this expression.

Also, when translating into algebra, even if the essential words are not there, if the problem implies that a lower has taken location, subtract. For illustration, if an individual talks about dropping income or the inventory marketplace likely down, a decrease has taken place. Typically, that will point out subtraction.

Multiplication: Appear for phrases like merchandise and occasions. Far Timed multiplication tests , search at the underlying logic of the issue. If the exact same issue is happening in excess of and over yet again and you are trying to uncover a total quantity, believe about multiplying. Acknowledge that the word “of” when accompanying a fraction or decimal indicates multiplication. For case in point, if a landlord owns ten flats and collects $800 from every single tenant, his complete income is 10(800) = $8,000.

Division: Seem for words and phrases like divide and ratio. More importantly, look for circumstances in which the overall is identified but the size of every personal portion is not acknowledged. Suppose we reverse the details about the landlord and we know that he has ten flats and earns $8,000 for each thirty day period. If we suppose that every apartment rents for the very same sum, how much is the rent for each apartment? In this scenario, we know a total sum and are making an attempt to find the size of every equivalent element-in this situation, a rent payment. Therefore, we divide.

Essential Level: Distinguish among the meanings of “better than,” “is higher than,” and “how considerably better than.” Greater than signifies addition. eight better than x x + eight Is increased than indicates an inequality 8 is better than 5 8 > five How much higher than suggests subtraction. “How considerably better than 5 is x” would be prepared as

x — five. Similarly, distinguish between “less than,” “is significantly less than” and “how a lot much less.”

Less than implies subtraction. seven less than a amount is x – 7.

Is significantly less than suggests an inequality. three is considerably less than six is 3 < 6. How much less than indicates subtraction How much less than 8 is x 8 – x Practice the following Translation Exercises: Use x to represent an unknown number. 1. A number increased by 11.
2. The sum of a number and 13
3. 3/4 of a number
4.. A number minus 17
5. 12 less than a number.
6. 15 is subtracted from a number
7. The ratio of a number and 20.
8. A number of milk cartons is divided evenly among 15 children.
9.. How much greater is 59 than a number.
10. Total profit is x items are sold and earn $6 profit each.


1. x + 11
2. x + 13
3. 3/4(x) (Three-fourths times x)
4. x – 17
5. x — 12
6. x — 15
7. x / 20 (x divided by 20.)
8. x/ 15 (x divided by 15)
9. 59 — x
10. 6x

The next article in this series will focus on translations involving two or more arithmetic operations.

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