MATH: Writing Let Statements for Word Problems

Posted on February 1, 2012. Filed under: Math | Tags: , |

A let statement is a short phrase you write to restate what you are being asked to solve in a word problem.  You explain what the variable(s) in your algebraic equation will represent. 

Tips for writing let statements:

  • Read the word problem, and then rewrite the question in the form of a statement.
  • Use symbols or abbreviations to make it easier for you.  (For example, instead of writing the word “number” just use the sign #.)
  • The let statement does not have to be a full sentence. 
  • Don’t over-complicate it!

Here’s an example:
Word Problem:  How old is Daniel if he was 32 years old twelve years ago?

The problem is asking us to find out Daniel’s age now, so our let statement will read: 

Let x = Daniel’s current age

Now, we can solve the problem:

Finally, we write our answer in the form of a complete sentence.  We can refer back to our let statement to help us write the the complete sentence:

Daniel’s current age is 44 years old.

~Ms. Morris

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