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Missing Terms

Date: Mon, 19 Dec 1994 18:43:30 AST
From: Richard Seguin

Hello again. In our math book, we have a question like this:

Find the missing terms:

 ?(?-3)=5w-15   <----- What I don't understand is how do you get the 
answer? And what is it looking exactly for?

Date: Mon, 19 Dec 1994 18:08:24 +0000
From: Elizabeth Weber


        This is a funny sort of problem.  What makes it so confusing is
that there are two '?'s, which stand for two different things. 

        Let's make the problem a little more clear:  let's call ?(?-3)
'a(b-3)'.  When we multiply ?(?-3) out, we're going to get something 
of the form ab-a*3.  

        5w-15, then, is of the form ab-a*3.

        Can you see what the values of a and b must be, now?

                                        -Elizabeth, a math doctor
Associated Topics:
Middle School Equations

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