Many students struggle with word problems as it seems they are intended to confuse you. The key to solving them is to figure out what the word problem is asking you to do, and break it down into a simple equation. Use this guide to identify keyword or phrases that will clue you into what the problem is asking you to do.

## Addition Keywords

- altogether; There were two blue eggs and three green eggs. How many eggs were there
*altogether*? - sum of; What is the
*sum*of two plus two? - plus; What is the sum of two
*plus*two? - total; What is the
*total*of two plus two? - add;
*Add*two and two. - together;
*Together*, what two and two? - Combine;
*Combine*two and two.

## Subtraction Keywords

- Take away;
*Take away*four from five. - Subtract;
*Subtract*four from five. - Minus; Five
*minus*four is what? - From; Four
*from*five is what? - Remain; How many
*remain*after you take four from five? - Left; How many are left?

## Multiplication Keywords

- Product; What is the
*product*of four and five? - Times; There are five
*times*as many as there were. - Multiply;
*Multiply*the numbers four and five. - As much (When preceded by a whole number, but not a fraction.);There was twice as much ice cream before you ate.
- Some addition keywords are used in multiplication as well since multiplication is just another way of doing addition. For instance; There were four groups of fruit. There were 5 pieces in each group. How many were there
*altogether*?

## Division Keywords

- Divided by; Four
*divided by*two is what? - Divide;
*Divide*four by two. - of (when preceded by a fraction); Half of four is what?
- As much (When preceded by a fraction.); I would like half
*as much*as she had. - Into; Four
*goes*into twenty how many times?

These are some of the most common math keywords used. Look for these keywords when you are trying to decided what the math question is actually asking you to do.