9 less than 5 times a number is 3 more than 2x The phrase a number means an arbitrary variable, let's call it x: x 5 times a number means we multiply x by 5: 5x 9 less than 5x means we subtract 9 from 5x: 5x - 9 3 more than 2x means we add 3 to 2x: 2x + 3 The word is means an equation, so we set 5x - 9 equal to 2x + 3: 5x - 9 = 2x + 3 <-- This is our algebraic expression If you want to solve for x, type this equation into the search engine, and we get: x = 4