Status
Not open for further replies.

#### angelene001

##### Member
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= ?

#### BobK

##### Harmless drudge
Staff member
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

#### angelene001

##### Member
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"?

#### 5jj

##### Moderator
Staff member
"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.

#### konungursvia

##### VIP Member
Teachers of math often say "solve a problem" or even, "the task is to solve this problem".

#### angelene001

##### Member
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"

#### konungursvia

##### VIP Member
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

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?

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"

#### BobK

##### Harmless drudge
Staff member
:up: And there's a specific phrase - 'solve for x' - whose meaning escapes me. Ask a mathematician

b

Staff member

#### BobK

##### Harmless drudge
Staff member
:up: That's a good all-purpose word (the context suggests 'one-size-fits-all' ;-)), and it works perfectly well for maths problems.

b

Status
Not open for further replies.