# How do you write a variable expression for the word phrase " 3 less than 5 times a number"?

Apr 27, 2018

$5 n - 3$

#### Explanation:

Less than a number should clue you in to subtraction after a number.
So $x$ less than a number means $n - x$. In this case 3 less than a number is $n - 3$.

Times means multiplication. $c$ times a number is $c$ x $n$. In this case $5$ times a number is $5$ x $n$.

Altogether, 3 less than 5 times a number is $5 n - 3$.
I used $n$ for 'a number' because number started with $n$. You can use any letter.