60 percent of a number minus 17 is -65 Using our percent to decimal calculator, we see that 60% is 0.6, so we have: 0.6 The phrase a number means an arbitrary variable, let's call it x. So 60% of a number is: 0.6x Minus 17: 0.6x - 17 The word is means an equation, so we set 0.6x - 17 equal to -65 to get our algebraic expression of: 0.6x - 17 = -65 If you want to solve for x in this equation, you type it in our search engine and you get: x = -80