How to Read Basic Expressions 03:47 minutes

Video Transcript

Transcript How to Read Basic Expressions

Meet Lucky. While on a mission, a careless mistake led to his capture by a rival hacker. I know, I know, Lucky's not lucky. Luckily for Lucky, the rival hackers kinda forgot to lock the door. Lucky takes a quick peek around and, spotting no guards, makes a run for the exit. However, this dusty labyrinth is lousy with booby traps. The way out can be reached by correctly reading the expression above each door. To find the one and only escape route, Lucky must know how to read basic math expressions.

Reading basic math expressions

Above the first door are some spikes. Yikes! Lucky had better read this correctly or else. The expression looks like this: Although there are different ways to read multiplication problems, sometimes it matters if the multiplication sign is written in the expression. In this example, since the multiplication sign is written, it's preferable to read the expression as 'two times y'. But, if you have it written like this: then you can simply read it as '2y'. Since the multiplication sign is in the expression, Lucky reads the expression as '2 times y', avoids the booby trap and moves on. Beware of alligators? There must be a trap door somewhere. Lucky's gotta be careful! Division problems, much like multiplication problems, are able to be read in a few different ways. For example, this can be read in one of three ways:

'x' divided by 2 'x' over 2 or half of 'x'.

Lucky confidently reads the equation as 'x' over 2. The door opened! Thankfully, it wasn't the trap door. Lucky doesn't want to become alligator food. Lucky was able to pass through the first few doors with no problems. But there's one door remaining. It's the toughest one yet!

Positive expressions are pretty straightforward, but what if the first term is negative? Lucky can see freedom! And a web of lasers in the hallway - no worries! Math expressions, just like English, are read left-to-right. So, we start with the fraction. The fraction is negative, so we must state this first. Then, we have to read the numerator before the denominator. Remember, it's division, so you get to choose how you read it!

negative 4x divided by 3 or negative 4x over 3

The next operater from left to right is an addition sign. The term that follows can be read as 9x. Putting this all together, Lucky enunciates each word - negative 4x over 3 plus 9x.

When reading basic math expressions, it's important to remember to read from left to right, pay attention to positive and negative, and read fractions from top to bottom.

Back to Lucky. After reading the last expression. Lucky hears a noise and all the lasers are deactivated. Just Lucky's luck, he's stepped on a twig, and here come the bad guys!

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