Translating Verbal and Variable Phrases

This section has the following videos:

  • Lesson Video
  • Example Set A Practice Problems (Video Solutions)
  • Example Set B Practice Problems (Video Solutions)
  • Example Set C Practice Problems (Video Solutions)
  • DOWNLOAD the Practice Problem Worksheet Here (the videos below explain the solutions to the problems)

Translating one language into another can be real fun especially if you’re on vacation.  So imagine if you will that your algebra class is located in some amazing location that uses a different language.  Well to communicate your teacher would have to translate one language into another language- word by word and phrases by phrases.  This task of translating is critical in mathematics and algebra as we take verbal sentences and write them as mathematical statements.  Here is a quick example:  “the amount of dogs (let D represent the number of dogs) in the house was increased by 10” could be written as “D + 10” . The key to translating any language is to know how to express one word into it’s equivalent in another language.  In this example we knew that the meaning of  “increased” was to add onto another value by using the “+” symbol.   If your confused don’t get stressed as many students first have a hard time with this topic- the lesson below will really help you so make sure you watch it……good luck!


concepts to remember about translating verbal and variable phrases:

1. memorize all the key phrases like “increased by” and “more than” and how to write these as mathematical statements
2. translating phrases are essential to solving word problems in algebra
3. sometimes a phrases will require two or more variables- don’t be shy to use more than one variable in your translation
4. translating verbal and variable phrases takes time and experience- don’t give up even if you struggle at first