As a professional writer, she has written for Education.com, Samsung and IBM.

Martin contributed English translations for a collection of Japanese poems by Misuzu Kaneko.

In the example, the question asks how many socks the sisters own together, so you can disregard the information about Mark. This eliminates much of the information and leaves you with only the total number of socks that the sisters started with and how many the little sister lost. For example, the words and phrases "sum," "more than," "increased" and "in addition to" all mean to add, so write in the " " symbol over these words.

Use a letter for the unknown variable, and create an algebraic equation that represents the problem.

The total pairs of socks owned by both sisters is 8 6 9.

Subtract the two missing pairs for a final equation of (8 6 9) - 2 = n, where n is the number of pairs of socks the sisters have left.

The best way to approach word problems is to “divide and conquer”.

Break the problem down into smaller bits and solve each bit at a time.

In the example, take the total number of pairs of socks Suzy owns -- eight plus six.

Take the total number of pairs that her sister owns -- nine.

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