# How do you define your variables when given a word problem?

##### 1 Answer

A general approach is to let the variable be whatever the question asks you to find......

#### Explanation:

A general approach is to let the variable be whatever the question asks you to find......

Find the number. Let the number be

How many toys does Pete have? Let the number of toys be

What is the price of the shirt? Let the price be

If you are asked to find two numbers,

or the length and breadth of a rectangle

or the ages of a mother and her son

or the price of pears and peaches, then.....

Let the variable be the smaller number and then write an expression for the other value.

When each unknown has been defined with a variable, then write the equation.

e.g. The sum of two numbers is 15:

Let the smaller number be

The sum of three consecutive numbers is

Let the numbers be:

Sometimes you will not be given a specific relationship between the numbers. In this case use two variables.

Let the numbers be