OML Search

Algebra Word Problems: Integers

Related Topics:
Integer word problems with more than two unknowns
Consecutive integer problems
More Algebra Word Problems

Integer word problems are word problems that involves integers and how they are related according to the question. Think carefully when you assign the variables to the unknowns.

Things to watch out for: be careful when translating the sentences into equations.

For example:
“John has 5 fewer sweets than twice the number that Alice has”
        is translated as j = 2a –5
        and not j = 5 – 2a

Although, the number 5 is mentioned first in the sentence that does not mean that it would come first in the equation. Read the sentence carefully.

In these lessons, we will cover some examples of integer word problems with two unknowns. Refer to the following related topics for other types of integer word problems.

Integer Problems With Two Unknowns

Example 1:

A team won 3 times as many matches as it lost. If it won 15 matches, how many games did it lose?


Step 1: Sentence: A team won 3 times as many matches as it lost.

Assign variables:

x = matches lost
3x = matches won

Sentence: It won 15 matches
3x = 15

Step 2: Solve the equation

Isolate variable x

Answer: The team lost 5 games.

Example 2:

Initially, there were the same number of blue marbles and red marbles in a bag.
John took out 5 blue marbles and then there were twice as many red marbles as blue marbles in the bag. How many red marbles are there in the bag?


Step 1: Assign variables:

Let x = red marbles

Sentence: Initially, blue marbles = red marbles = x, then John took out 5 blue marbles.
x – 5 = blue marbles

Sentence: twice as many red marbles as blue marbles in the bag
x = 2(x –5)

Step 2: Solve the equation

x = 2(x –5)

Remove the brackets
x = 2x – 10

Isolate variable x
= 10

Answer: There are 10 red marbles in the bag.

The following videos give more examples of integer word problems.
One number is four more than a second number. If their sum is 38, find the two numbers.

The larger of two integers is seven more than the smaller integer. Their sum is 49. Find the integers. Example:
Two numbers add up to 51. Find the two numbers if they are 5 units apart. Example:
An integer is one less than twice that of another. If their sum is 20, find the integers. Example:
The sum of two numbers is 17. Three times one number is one more than twice the other. Example:
(1) The sum of two numbers is 30. Twice the smaller number is half the larger number. Find the numbers.
(2) The sum of three consecutive odd integers is 15. What is the largest integer?

Try the free Mathway calculator and problem solver below to practice various math topics. Try the given examples, or type in your own problem and check your answer with the step-by-step explanations.
Mathway Calculator Widget

OML Search

We welcome your feedback, comments and questions about this site or page. Please submit your feedback or enquiries via our Feedback page.