Associated Topics || Dr. Math Home || Search Dr. Math

### Solving an Algebra Word Problem

```
Date: 10/11/95 at 17:41:19
From: Anonymous
Subject: Word Problems

Two members of the track team spent 18 hours in total training one
week.  Amy spent 2 hours 20 minutes more than Becky. How long did each
spend?
```

```
Date: 10/11/95 at 23:5:39
From: Doctor Andrew
Subject: Re: Word Problems

You could do this one by writing down two equations, but it can
also be done more intuitively.

Suppose Amy and Becky spend the same amount of time training.

The time (18 hours), which can be drawn on a line like this:

|-------------18h-------------|

would be divided up evenly like this:

|-----Amy------|----Becky-----|

But they aren't spending the same amount of time. So how far, and
in which direction, would you move the line seperating Amy and
Becky in the above diagram to get a 2h 20 min difference between
the times?

In other words you want a diagram like this:

2h 20m
|-------|

|----Amy------------|--Becky---|
^
center

If you want to do this problem with algebra, notice that

a - b = 2 1/3   and that a + b = ?

where a is Amy's time, and b is Becky's time.

I hope this helps you out.  Good luck!

-Doctor Andrew,  The Geometry Forum

```
Associated Topics:
Middle School Word Problems

Search the Dr. Math Library:

 Find items containing (put spaces between keywords):   Click only once for faster results: [ Choose "whole words" when searching for a word like age.] all keywords, in any order at least one, that exact phrase parts of words whole words

Submit your own question to Dr. Math
Math Forum Home || Math Library || Quick Reference || Math Forum Search