note that there is a "number" in front of x ... it's 1.

1x and x are the same thing ... the 1 is not written because it is generally understood that just writing x means 1x.

for the x's ... let x = an apple

5 apples + 1 apple = ?

6 apples, or 5 apples squared?

let w = a banana

10 bananas - 1 banana = how many bananas?