Here is a money math word problem that was given to gifted students at Military Heights Elementary School in Roswell,NM. It involves spending a fraction of your total money (2/3) at one store and then one third of what you have left at another store. At this point you have $4 remaining and the question is how much money did you start with.
What follows is a direct translation from this money word problem into an algebraic equation where we let x be the amount of money we had when we walked into Alpha-Mart. The the first expression you see is the amount of money that was spent at Alpha-Mart and Dartmart combined as a function of the unknown variable x. We then subtract this expression from x(the amount of money we started with) and set it equal to four dollars.
As you can see, when you you solve for x, you get $18.
For more practice with direct translation word problems, view this easier one that involves four consecutive positive integers also known as natural numbers.
Also related, but easier than this problem on fractions is the easier problem: Bonita evaluated 5/6 × 1 2/3 and got an answer of 7/3. How can you tell that her answer is wrong? Solution: 5/6 times 5/3 equals 25/18 which does not reduce to 7/3. The word evaluate in this context means to perform the indicated operation of multiplication.