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Writing Algebraic Expressions

Common question: How do I translate word phrases into

algebraic expressions?

Word phrases are a small group of words that

demonstrate a mathematical operation with at
least 1 known number.

Algebraic expressions are number sentences that have

at least one known number, one variable, one
operation (+,, , ) and no equal sign

Steps to Translating Word Phrases into Algebraic

Step 1: Indentify the known number AND the variable
Ex: 5 times as many as n

Step 2: Connect key phrases with an operation

Ex: 5 times as many as n

Step 3: Rewrite the phrase as an algebraic expression

Try It!

Four plus a number x

Some number times eight

5 decreased by a number w

The quotient of a number

and nine
Common mistake
10 less than a number is NOT the same as 10 minus a number

Example: Write the following word phrases to Algebraic Expressions.

A third of a number n added to 5. _____________

Twice a number n subtracted by 9. _____________

Twice a number n less than 9. _____________

11 less than the product of 5 and a number n. _____________

11 decreased by the product of 5 and a number n. _____________

*Challenge yourself*
Example: Given the Algebraic Expressions, translate it to a verbal

18 y+ 7

243 n
Language of Math


a number plus 5 a number minus 3 times a number A number divided

add 5 to a number 11 3 multiplied by a by 7
sum of a number subtract 11 from a number 7 divided into a
Word Phrase

and 5 number Product of 3 and a number

5 more than a difference of a number Quotient of a
number number and 11 number and 7
a number 11 less than a
increased by 5 number
a number
decreased by 11
Express a
n+5 x11 3m a 7