Contributor: Danielle Childers. Lesson ID: 10775
Smile! Frown! Grimace! Faces express our feelings. Algebraic expressions show the value of numbers and symbols. Learn to translate word problems into algebraic expressions with video and online games!
When someone asks you to give them a happy expression, what does your face look like? What if they asked for a surprised expression? What if someone asked you to give them an algebraic expression — what would you do?
Just like your face can show an expression of how you are feeling, a math expression shows the value of the numbers and symbols given.
In this lesson, you will review how to build, read, then solve an algebraic expression.
For a quick reminder and some hints on reading and building algebraic expressions, look at the notes below. Following these simple steps will help you when you are writing equations:
The following KEY WORDS will help you write expressions:
Add + 










Subtract  













Multiply x 





Divide ÷ 






Equals = 








Listen to Julie Harland, Your Math Gal, in Translating words into algebraic expressions (below), explain in more detail how to translate words into algebraic expressions. Be sure to try to solve them on your own before she solves the problems for you! You can reference the KEY WORD chart for help:
Here is another great video from LearnZillion, called Read and write an algebraic expression containing a variable. The video is free, but you may have to create an account (with your parent or teacher) to view this video.
Read and write an algebraic expression containing a variable  LearnZillion
When you are finished, continue on to the Got It? section to play some learning games!
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