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Translating word phrases

  1. May 13, 2008 #1
    You might find this too noobish but pls help me.

    My "analysis" is very poor, since English is not my native language and i can hardly speak in english! :cry:

    Can you please help me translate these word phrases into algebraic symbols?

    *the odd integer consecutive to and less than the odd integer n

    What's the difference between these two "word phrases"
    *the square of the sum x and y subtracted from 5 is 12
    *the square of the sum x and y, subtracted from 5 is 12

    And how about "the squares of the reciprocal of the sum of x and y is 15"???

    The word "squares" kinda confused me.
    Is it really plural??? or singular?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 13, 2008 #2


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    Hi VashtiMaiden! :smile:
    hmm … "consecutive to" usually means "the next one" … but I suppose it could mean "the previous one". In symbols: "n - 2".

    Personally, I think that's bad English. :frown:
    Those really are bad English.

    I think they both mean 5 - (x + y)² = 12.

    I suppose the first one might mean (5 - (x + y))² = 12. :frown:

    But whoever wrote them needs English lessons.

    Where did you find them?
    Again, bad English … "reciprocal" is singular, so it should be "square". "Squares" is wrong. :smile:
  4. May 13, 2008 #3
    :cry: Thank you. ...and anyway, "bad english" is not my fault. And those are phrases not sentences.
  5. May 13, 2008 #4


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    A sentence about mathematical descriptions can, or should be an equation or an inequality. A phrase or may likely ONLY be expressable as an algebraic expression. Actually, the English used in expressing or describing the mathematical relation or description NEEDS to be precise in order to be clear enough to express in mathematical symbolism. In the effort to learn English and coordinate it with Mathematics, drawing pictures and showing diagrams are extremely useful in the learning process and in the learning to make the mathematical transcriptions.
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