# Word Problems

Any English phrase that makes it sound like we're adding things together means we're...well, adding things together. Thing + thing + thing + thing. We can abbreviate any such phrase using a + sign.

Here are some phrases that translate to addition. We don't need to think hard to translate these, since the + symbol is "the plus symbol." We told you we'd start small. Enjoy it while it lasts.

• The sum of x and two is x + 2.

• Five plus one is 5 + 1.

Here are some more phrases that translate into addition. For these, it can be helpful to think of the number line. In fact, it can often be helpful to think of the number line even when you're not doing anything math-related. Why, we often take walks through the park, throwing bread crumbs to the birds and gazing around, taking in the scenery and thinking of the number line. But we digress.

• Three added to four means 4 + 3.

Even though the phrase 3 + 4 gives us the same result, we can't use it because we're starting with 4 and adding 3. Sheesh. Talk about nitpicky.

Here are some phrases that are less obvious, but which make sense if you think of baskets of apples. Not only baskets of apples, of course. That would be silly. Although you can never have too many apples. We love apples; apples are the best. Not that we're necessarily pro-apple or that we're endorsing them on behalf of a major apple conglomerate. Uh, this is awkward. You kind of backed us into a corner on this one.

• Six combined with four means 6 + 4.

If you have a basket of 6 apples and a basket of 4 apples, and you combine the apples in the two baskets into one, you have 6 + 4 = 10 apples. Which of the two baskets do you put them all in? That's the real question. You don't want to be accused of favoritism.

•  Six together with four also means 6 + 4.

A basket of 6 apples together with a basket of 4 apples gives you 6 + 4 = 10 apples. These apples won't always be together, however. We see an emotional break-up in their near future.

•  The total of six and four means 6 + 4.