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Problem 1

One number is 3 more than the other. Their sum is 45. What are the numbers?
Scratch Work
The strategy in solving algebraic problems is to take a specific case. For instance, in the problem
above, if one number is say, , then the larger number is because it is greater than the
first number. Since we do not know the numbers yet, we can represent the smaller number by
and the larger number by .
The next clue is the word sum, their sum is . So, sum means you have to add the two
numbers which are and . In sentence form, the sum of and is or

in equation form. Now, we write the solution.
Solution
Let be the smaller number and be the larger number.




So, the smaller number is and the larger number is
.
Of course, after this, you can always do the checking by looking at the conditions. Is the larger
number greater than ? Is the sum of two numbers ? Once the answer satisfies all the
conditions in the given problem, then it is correct.
Problem 2
The sum of two numbers is 53. One number is 7 less than the other. What are the numbers?
Scratch Work
In this example, if the larger number is , then the other number is less than the or
. So, if the number is , the smaller number is . The next sentence is their sum is
, so we have to add and forming the equation
.
We now write the solution.
Solution
Let be the larger number and be the smaller number.




Therefore, the larger number is and the smaller number is . Again, you
can check the answer by if it satisfies the conditions above.
Problem 3
One number is twice the other number. Their sum is 45. What are the numbers?
Scratch Work
If one number is , then the number twice it is , or . Therefore, if one number is , the
number twice it is or . Next, their sum is . It means that if you add and , the sum
is . Or, .
Solution
Let be the smaller number and be the larger number.


Dividing both sides by , we have
.
Therefore, the smaller number is and the larger number is . Checking it, is
indeed twice , and yes, their sum is .
Problem 4
If is subtracted from three times a number, then the result is . What is the number?
Scratch work
In the How to Solve Number Word Problems Part 1, I mentioned that sometimes, if it is hard to
convert the words in the problem to equations, it is helpful to think of a particular number. For
example, in this problem, the phrase is three subtracted from three times a number. So, if we
choose a number, say for example, , we want to subtract from three times . In numerical
expression, that is . So, if a number is , the expression is . Now, this
results to as stated above. Intuitively, it is saying that is equal to . Thats our
equation!
Solution
Let be the number.
is 8 less than 3 times the number.
Now, .



Check: The problem says that if is subtracted three times the number, the result is . Now,
three times is . Now, if we subtract from the result is and we are correct.
Problem 5
Separate into two parts such that the one exceeds the other by . What are the numbers?
Scratch Work
If we separate into two parts, and one part is, for example, , then the other part is
which is . This means that if one part of is , then the other part is .
Now it says that the larger number exceeds the smaller number by . This means that
larger number smaller number = 24.
The only part left now is to choose which is larger, or . It wont really matter.
Solution
Let be the larger and be the smaller number.
Then,

.
Subtracting from both sides results to
.
Dividing both sides by , we get
.
So, the smaller number is and the larger number is .
Check: Is the sum of the two numbers is ? Does exceed by ? If both answers are yes,
then we are correct.
Problem 6
The sum of the ages of Abby, Bernice, and Cherry is . Bernice is twice as old as Abby, while
Cherry is 4 years older than Abby. What are the ages of the three ladies?
Scratch Work
As I have mentioned above, some problems are really number problems in disguise. This
problem is one of them.
From the problem, it is easy to see that the youngest in the group is Abby. Let us say, Abby is
. So, Bernice is twice as old or years old. Then, Cherry is four years older than Abby
or .
So, from this analysis, if Abby is years old, then, Bernice is . Since Cherry is four years
older than Abby, then here age is .
In the first sentence, it says that the sum of the ages of the three ladies is . Therefore, we must
add their ages ( , and ) and equate it to . That is our equation.
Solution
Let be Abbys age, be Bernices age and be Cherrys age.




Dividing both sides by , we have .
So, Abby is , Bernice is and Cherry is years old.
Check: Is the sum of their ages ?
Problem 10
There are consecutive numbers. The sum of the second and the fourth number is . What is
the largest number?
Scratch Work
Since we have five consecutive numbers, if we let be the smallest, then the other numbers are
, , , and .
Now, the second number is and the fourth is . Their sum is . And thats where we
get our equation.
Solution
Let , , , and be the five consecutive numbers.
Second Number:
Fourth Number:
Second Number + Fourth Number =


Subtracting 4 from both sides,


So, the five consecutive numbers are , , , and
The largest among them is .
Check: Yes, they are consecutive numbers and .
Problem 11
A number added to of itself is equal to . What is the number?
Scratch Work
If that number is equal to , then of that number is or . Therefore, if the number is ,
its one fourth is . Now, if we add and , the sum is 80. That is where we get our equation.
Solution
Let be the number and a fourth of it as

To get rid of the fraction, we multiply everything by . This gives us



Check: of is . Now, . This means that we are correct.
Problem 12
One number exceeds the other by . One third the larger subtracted by one one half the smaller
is equal to . What are the numbers?
Scratch Work
One number exceeds the other by 22 means that the other number is 22 more than the smaller.
So, if we let be the smaller number, the larger number is .
Now, we will subtract one-third by one fourth of . The difference will be . In equation
form we have
.
Solution
Let be the smaller number and be the larger.

The least common multiple of the denominators of the fraction (3 and 2) is , so we multiply
everything with to eliminate the fractional parts.


By the distributive property, we have


Multiplying both sides by gives us which is the smaller number. The larger number is
.
Check: .