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The variable represents either a variable amount, or an initially unknown amount. Converting a word problem to an algebraic equation requires some practice. Here is a simple example:If I earn an additional $10, I'll have $50. How much do I have now?

The amount I have now is the unknown; obviously, if I add $10 to that, I'll have $50. So (omitting the dollar signs), I call this unknown amount "x" (or some other variable), and write:

x + 10 = 50

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Q: How do you use a variable to write an algebraic expression that represents the word phrase?

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