# Basic Algebra/Introduction to Basic Algebra Ideas/Translating Words into Math Symbols

Sum
Difference
Quotient
Product

## Definitions

• The sum of two unknown numbers can be written as ${\displaystyle x+y}$.
• The difference of two unknown numbers can be written as ${\displaystyle x-y}$.
• The quotient of two unknown numbers can be written as ${\displaystyle x\div y}$.
• The product of two unknown numbers can be written as ${\displaystyle x\times y}$.

Keep in mind that ${\displaystyle x+y}$ is the same as ${\displaystyle y+x}$ and ${\displaystyle x\times y}$ is the same as ${\displaystyle y\times x}$.

However, ${\displaystyle x-y}$ is not the same as ${\displaystyle y-x}$, and ${\displaystyle x\div y}$ is not the same as ${\displaystyle y\div x}$.

## Practice Games

Put links here to games that reinforce these skills.

## Practice Problems

1 If x = 5 and y = 4 and z = x + y, what does z equal?

2 John collected 14 cans. Tim brought in 10 cans. Suzy got 3 cans from her house and 15 more from her father's work.

 How many cans of food did Suzy collect? How many cans of food were collected by all three children?

3 Billy broke a stick into 3 pieces. The first piece of the stick is 53 cm long. The second piece of the stick is 29 cm long.

 If the stick was 120 cm long before Billy broke it how long is the third piece?

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