• 27-Jan-2013, 13:55
angelene001
Can I use the word "task" for this:
"If John has got 5 apples and Tom has got 7 apples, how many apples do they have together?"
Can I say, "Please solve this task" or "Preparing for the exam, I solved a lot of tasks"?

During a test in maths you have to do several of these.
But how do you call them? And what do you do with them?

You can solve an equation but it looks like this:
6+7= ?
• 27-Jan-2013, 14:04
BobK
You don't solve a task. Depending on the context it might be a problem or an example or a sum or a calculation or an exercise or a conundrum or a riddle ... but I am not a Thesaurus. What's wrong with the word 'equation' - if that's what it is?

b
• 27-Jan-2013, 14:41
angelene001
Quote:

Originally Posted by BobK
You don't solve a task. Depending on the context it might be a problem or an example or a sum or a calculation or an exercise or a conundrum or a riddle ... but I am not a Thesaurus. What's wrong with the word 'equation' - if that's what it is?

b

I thought maybe there's a specific word for this type of exercise. I mean a mathematical exercise where you aren't simply given an equation written in numbers to solve (2+3=?) but you've got a riddle written in words.
But it's more serious than just a riddle. High school students don't solve riddles during maths tests.
The example about apples given by me is very simple but it's just to show what I mean.

Do all the words listed by you collocate with "solve"?
• 27-Jan-2013, 15:21
5jj
Quote:

Originally Posted by angelene001
"If John has got 5 apples and Tom has got 7 apples, how many apples do they have together?"

In this particular example, the task (in red) has already been set.
• 27-Jan-2013, 17:18
konungursvia
Teachers of math often say "solve a problem" or even, "the task is to solve this problem".
• 27-Jan-2013, 17:55
angelene001
The safest option would be:
"Preparing for the maths exam I did a lot of exercises"

Right?

Can I say:
"I solved a lot of exercises"
• 27-Jan-2013, 20:30
konungursvia
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOO!!!!
;)
No.

To solve means to untangle and fix. It implies there is something embroiled, mixed-up, unfinished, incorrect, incomplete, imperfect, or otherwise unsatisfactory about what you are solving. You solve problems. Problems are negative. You solve bad things. You can even solve crimes.

An exercise is a wonderful, useful, wholesome thing. You can't solve it, just as you can't repair something that is in good working order.

Does that make sense?

Quote:

Originally Posted by angelene001
The safest option would be:
"Preparing for the maths exam I did a lot of exercises"

Right?

Can I say:
"I solved a lot of exercises"

• 27-Jan-2013, 21:48
BobK
:up: And there's a specific phrase - 'solve for x' - whose meaning escapes me. Ask a mathematician:-)

b
• 27-Jan-2013, 23:26
Barb_D