9 times a number is that number minus 3 Let a number be an arbitrary variable, let's call it x. We're given: 9 times a number is 9x The number minus 3 is x - 3 The word is means an equation, so we set 9x equal to x - 3 to get our algebraic expression: 9x = x - 3 To solve for x, we type this equation into our search engine and we get: x = -0.375 or -3/8