How do you express the phrase "Twelve less a number is 40" as an algebraic expression?

Sep 11, 2015

$12 - n = 40$

Explanation:

Pick a variable to represent "a number" (I used $n$)

Twelve less a number is $40$
becomes
Twelve less $n$ is $40$
$\textcolor{w h i t e}{\text{XXXXXXXX}}$replace "Twelve" with $12$
$12$ less $n$ is $40$
$\textcolor{w h i t e}{\text{XXXXXXXX}}$replace "less" with a minus sign
$12 - n$ is $40$
$\textcolor{w h i t e}{\text{XXXXXXXX}}$replace "is" with an equal sign
$12 - n = 40$