5 times a number is 4 more than twice a number The phrase a number means an arbitrary variable, let's call it x. x 5 times a number: 5x Twice a number means we multiply x by 2: 2x 4 more than twice a number 2x + 4 The word is means equal to, so we set 5x equal to 2x + 4 5x = 2x + 4