How to Solve Word Problems of Writing Variable Expressions
Word problems that involve writing variable expressions require you to translate a situation described in words into a mathematical expression using variables.
A Step-by-step Guide to Solving Word Problems of Writing Variable Expressions
Let’s consider an example word problem to understand the steps involved:
Problem: John has 5 more marbles than Billy. If Billy has ‘b’ marbles, how many does John have?
Step 1: Understand the problem
Read the problem carefully. Identify the unknowns and any relationships between them. In this case, the unknowns are the number of marbles John and Billy have, and the relationship is that John has 5 more marbles than Billy.
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Step 2: Assign a variable
We are told to let ‘b’ represent the number of marbles Billy has.
Step 3: Write an expression for the other unknown
We know from the problem that John has 5 more marbles than Billy. So, if Billy has ‘b’ marbles, John has ‘b + 5’ marbles.
So, the answer to the problem “If Billy has ‘b’ marbles, how many does John have?” is ‘\(b+5\)’.
Remember, the key to solving word problems is to read the problem carefully, identify the variables and relationships, and then translate those relationships into mathematical expressions or equations. Practice will help improve these skills over time.
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