Introduction to Translating Word Problems into Equations

Image of a pen, calculator, and eye glasses sitting on top of a mortgage application form.

Math in everyday life is like a constant string of word problems. How much should I tip the waitress? What time should I leave on my 16 mile bike ride if I want to by to the cafĂ© at noon? If I only have $550 a year set aside for getting to and from work, should I spend it on driving/parking or public transportation? It’s important to learn how to write and solve equations based on the math events that may impact you. Maybe you want to figure out your maximum budget when buying your first home. You can use the current interest rate and your desired monthly mortgage payment to solve for the most money you can offer on the purchase of a house. Equations can also be written to determine whether or not it’s more cost efficient to buy a new car or keep repairing your old one. Once you can translate words into algebraic equations, you can solve a variety of tough problems that involve numbers.