# Know the Vocabulary of Algebra

In this worksheet, students will interpret and apply mathematical command words

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Algebra

Curriculum subtopic:   Use and Interpret Algebraic Notation

Difficulty level:

#### Worksheet Overview

Lots of students are really good at maths, but the problem they have is working out what the question is asking for!

This can mean a huge difference in exam marks, so in this activity we will look at the command words and their meaning!

Here are some of the most common ones:

Solve

This means a solution to the equation is required (ie. they need a value of the unknown).

For example:

Solve   2x + 3 = 7

2x = 4

x = 2      Solved!

Simplify

This means make the expression as simple as you can (ie. often means collect the like terms).

For example:

Simplify   2c + 4v + 3c + 5v

= 5c + 9v     Simplified!

Expand

This means remove any brackets.

For example:

Expand    2(3x + 5)            ( 2x3x = 6x    and 2 x 5 = 10)

= 6x + 10     Expanded!

Factorise

This means insert brackets by taking out common factors.

For example:

Factorise 2w + 6

2(w + 3)       Factorised!

Does that all make sense?

Let's practise these command words.

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