Systems of Linear Equations and Word Problems

This section covers:

(Note that we solve systems using matrices in the Matrices and Solving Systems with Matrices section here.)

Introduction to Systems

“Systems of equations” just means that we are dealing with more than one equation and variable.  So far, we’ve basically just played around with the equation for a line, which is y = mx + b.

But let’s say we have the following situation.  You’re going to the mall with your friends and you have $200 to spend from your recent birthday money. You discover a store that has all jeans for $25 and all dresses for $50.  You really, really want to take home 6 items of clothing because you “need” that many new things.

Wouldn’t it be clever to find out how many pairs of jeans and how many dresses you can buy so you use the whole $200 (tax not included – your parents promised to pay the tax)?

Now, you can always do “guess and check” to see what would work, but you might as well use algebra!   It’s much better to learn the algebra way, because even though this problem is fairly simple to solve, the algebra way will let you solve any algebra problem – even the really complicated ones.

The first trick in problems like this is to figure out what we want to know.  This will help us decide what variables (unknowns) to use.  So what we want to know is how many pairs of jeans we want to buy (let’s say “j”) and how many dresses we want to buy (let’s say “d”).  So always write down what your variables will be:

  Let j = the number of jeans you will buy

Let d = the number of dresses you’ll buy

Like we did before, let’s translate word-for-word from math to English.  Always write down what your variables are in the following way:

English to Math Systems

Now we have the 2 equations as shown below.  Notice that the j variable is just like the x variable and the d variable is just like the y.  It’s easier to put in j and d so we can remember what they stand for when we get the answers.

This is what we call a system, since we have to solve for more than one variable – we have to solve for 2 here.  The cool thing is to solve for 2 variables, you typically need 2 equations, to solve for 3 variables, you need 3 equations, and so on.  That’s easy to remember, right?

We need to get an answer that works in both equations; this is what we’re doing when we’re solving; this is called solving simultaneous systems, or solving system simultaneously.

There are several ways to solve systems; we’ll talk about graphing first.

Solving Systems by Graphing

Remember that when you graph a line, you see all the different coordinates (or x/y combinations) that make the equation work.  In systems, you have to make both equations work, so the intersection of the two lines shows the point that fits both equations (assuming the lines do in fact intersect; we’ll talk about that later).  So the points of intersections satisfy both equations simultaneously. 

We’ll need to put these equations into the y = mx + b (d = mj + b) format, by solving for the d (which is like the y):

Now let’s graph:

Graphing to Get Solutions for Systems

We can see the two graphs intercept at the point (4, 2).  This means that the numbers that work for both equations is 4 pairs of jeans and 2 dresses!

Graphing Calculator

We can also use our graphing calculator to solve the systems of equations:

Graphing Calculator to get Systems Solution (Note that with non-linear equations, there will most likely be more than one intersection; an example of how to get more than one solution via the Graphing Calculator can be found in the Exponents and Radicals in Algebra section.)

Solving Systems with Substitution

Substitution is the favorite way to solve for many students!  It involves exactly what it says: substituting one variable in another equation so that you only have one variable in that equation.  So below are our two equations, and let’s solve for “d” in terms of “j” in the first equation.  Then, let’s substitute what we got for “d” into the next equation.

Even though it doesn’t matter which equation you start with, remember to always pick the “easiest” equation first (one that we can easily solve for a variable) to get a variable by itself.

Solving Linear Systems by Substitution

So we could buy 4 pairs of jeans and 2 dresses.

Note that we could have also solved for “j” first; it really doesn’t matter.  You’ll want to pick the variable that’s most easily solved for.

Let’s try another substitution problem that’s a little bit different:

Solving by Substitution Two

Solving Systems with Linear Combination or Elimination

Probably the most useful way to solve systems is using linear combination, or linear elimination.   The reason it’s most useful is that usually in real life we don’t have one variable in terms of another (in other words, a “y =” situation).

The main purpose of the linear combination method is to add or subtract the equations so that one variable is eliminated.  Now let’s see why we can add, subtract, or multiply both sides of equations by the same numbers – let’s use real numbers as shown below.  Remember these are because of the Additive Property of Equality, Subtraction Property of Equality, Multiplicative Property of Equality, and Division Property of Equality:

So now if we have a set of 2 equations with 2 unknowns, we can manipulate them by adding, multiplying or subtracting (we usually prefer adding) so that we get one equation with one variable.  For, example, let’s use our previous problem:

Linear Elimination or Combination Example

So we could buy 4 pairs of jeans and 2 dresses.

Here’s another example:

Linear Elimination or Combination Example 2

Types of equations

In the example above, we found one unique solution to the set of equations.  Sometimes, however, there are no solutions (when lines are parallel) or an infinite number of solutions (when the two lines are actually the same line, and one is just a “multiple” of the other) to a set of equations.

When there is at least one solution, the equations are consistent equations, since they have a solution.  When there is only one solution, the system is called independent, since they cross at only one point.  When equations have infinite solutions, they are the same equation, are consistent, and are called dependent or coincident (think of one just sitting on top of the other).

When equations have no solutions, they are called inconsistent equations, since we can never get a solution

Here are graphs of inconsistent and dependent equations that were created on the graphing calculator:

Inconsistent Equations Dependent Equations Consistent Equations

Systems with Three Equations

Let’s get a little more complicated with systems; in real life, we rarely just have two unknowns with two equations.

So let’s say at the same store, they also had pairs of shoes for $20 and we managed to get $60 more from our parents since our parents are so great!

Now we have a new problem: to spend the even $260, how many pairs of jeans, dresses, and pairs of shoes should we get if want say exactly 10 total items?

Let’s let j = the number of pair of jeans, d = the number of dresses, and s = the number of pairs of shoes we should buy.

So far we’ll have the following equations:

We’ll need another equation, since for three variables, we need three equations (otherwise, we’d theoretically have infinite ways to solve the problem).  In this type of problem, you would also have/need something like this:  we want twice as many pairs of jeans as pairs of shoes.  Now, since we have the same number of equations as variables, we can potentially get one solution for the system.

So, again, now we have three equations and three unknowns (variables).  We’ll learn later how to put these in our calculator to easily solve using matrices (see the Matrices and Solving Systems with Matrices section) , but for now we need to first use two of the equations to eliminate one of the variables, and then use two other equations to eliminate the same variable:

Now this gets more difficult to solve, but remember that in “real life”, there are computers to do all this work!

The trick to do these problems “by hand” is to keep working on the equations using either substitution or elimination until we get the answers.

Remember again, that if we ever get to a point where we end up with something like this, it means there are an infinite number of solutions:

     4 = 4     (variables are gone and a number equals another number and they are the same)

And if we up with something like this, it means there are no solutions:

     5 = 2     (variables are gone and two numbers are left and they don’t equal each other)

So let’s go for it and solve   :

Linear Elimination Three Variables

So we could buy 6 pairs of jeans, 1 dress, and 3 pairs of shoes.

Here’s one more example of a three variable system of equations, where we’ll only use linear elimination:

Linear Combination Three Equations

I know – this is really difficult stuff!  But if you do it step-by-step and keep using the equations you need with the right variables, you can do it.  Think of it like a puzzle – you may not know exactly where you’re going, but do what you can in baby steps, and you’ll get there (sort of like life!).

And we’ll learn much easier ways to do these types of problems.

Also – note that equations with three variables are represented by planes, not lines (you’ll learn about this in Geometry).  They could have 1 solution (if all the planes crossed in only one point), no solution (if say two of them were parallel), or an infinite number of solutions (say if two or three of them crossed in a line).  OK, enough Geometry for now!

Algebra Word Problems with Systems

Let’s do more word problems; you’ll notice that many of these are the same type that we did earlier in the Algebra Word Problems section, but now we can use more than one variable.  This will actually make the problems easier!

Again, when doing these word problems:

  • If you’re wondering what the variable (or unknown) should be when working on a word problem, look at what the problem is asking.  This is usually what your variable is!
  • If you’re not sure how to set up the equations, use regular numbers (simple ones!) and see what you’re doing.  Then put the variables back in!

Investment Word Problem:

Suppose Lindsay’s mom invests $10000, part at 3%, and the rest at 2.5%, in interest bearing accounts.   The totally yearly investment income (interest) is $283.  How much did Lindsay’s mom invest at each rate?


So we always have to define a variable, and we can look at what they are asking.   Since we’ve learned about systems, let’s use two variables:   let x = the amount of money invested at 3%, and y = the amount of money invested at 2.5%.

Remember that the yearly investment income or interest is the amount that we get from the yearly percentages.  (This is the amount of money that the bank gives us for keeping our money there.)  To get the interest, we have to multiply each percentage by the amount invested at that rate.  We can add these amounts up to get the total interest.

So we have two equations and two unknowns.  We know that the total amount (x + y) must equal 10000, and we also know that the interest (.03x + .025y) must equal 283:

Systems of Equations Investment Word Problem

We also could have set up this problem with a table:

Investment Word Problem Table

Mixture Word Problems:

Two types of milk, one that has 1% butterfat, and the other that has 3.5% of butterfat, are mixed.  How many liters of these two different kinds of milk are to be mixed together to produce 10 liters of low-fat milk, which has 2% butterfat?


(Note that we did a similar mixture problem using only one variable here in the Algebra Word Problems section.)

Let’s first define two variables for the number of liters of each type of milk.  Let x = the number of liters of the 1% milk, and y = the number of liters of the 3.5% milk.  Let’s use a table again:

Systems of Equations Mixture Table

We can also set up mixture problems with the type of figure below.  We add up the terms inside the box, and then multiply the amounts in the boxes by the percentages above the boxes, and then add across.  This will give us the two equations.

System of Equations Mixture Problem with Boxes

Now let’s do the math!
Systems of Equations Mixture Problem

Mixture Word Problem with Money:

A store sells two different types of coffee beans; the more expensive one sells for $8 per pound, and the cheaper one sells for $4 per pound.   The beans are mixed to provide a mixture of 50 pounds that sells for $6.40 per pound.    How much of each type of coffee bean should be used to create 50 pounds of the mixture?


Let’s first define two variables for the number of pounds of each type of coffee bean.   Let x = the number of pounds of the $8 coffee, and y = the number of pounds of the $4 coffee.  Let’s use a table again:

Money Mixture Problem

Distance Word Problem:

Lia walks to the mall from her house at 5 mph.  10 minutes later, Lia’s sister Megan starts riding her bike at 15 mph (from the same house) to the mall to meet Lia.  They arrive at the mall the same time.  How far is the mall from the sisters’ house?  How long did it take Megan to get there?


OK, this is another tough one.  Remember always that distance = rate x time.  It’s difficult to know how to define the variables, but usually in these types of distance problems, we want to set the variables to time, since we have rates, and we’ll want to set distances equal to each other (the house is always the same distance from the mall).

Let’s let L equal the how long (in hours) it will take Lia to get to the mall, and equal to how long (in hours) it will take Megan to get to the mall.  (Sometimes we’ll need to add the distances together instead of setting them equal to each other.)

We must use the distance formula for each of them separately, and then we can set their distances equal, since they are both traveling the same distance (house to mall).

Let’s draw a picture and work the problem:

Systems of Equations Distance Problem

Note that there’s an example of a Parametric Distance Problem here in the Parametric Equations section.

Which Plumber Problem:

Many word problems you’ll have to solve have to do with an initial charge or setup charge, and a charge or rate per time period.  In these cases, the initial charge will be the y-intercept, and the rate will be the slope.  Here is an example:

Michaela’s mom is trying to decide between two plumber companies to fix her sink.  The first company charges $50 for a service call, plus an additional $36 per hour for labor.  The second company charges $35 for a service call, plus an additional $39 per hour of labor. At how many hours will the two companies charge the same amount of money?

In these cases, the money spent depends on the plumber’s set up charge and number of hours, so let y = total cost of the plumber, and x = number of hours of labor.  And again, set up charges are typical yintercepts, and rates per hour are slopes.


To get the number of hours when the two companies charge the same amount of money, we just put the two y’s together and solve for x (substitution, right?):

Plumber Problem

Geometry Word Problem:

Many times we’ll have a geometry problem as an algebra word problem; these might involve perimeter, area, or sometimes angle measurements (so don’t forget these things!).  Let’s do one involving angle measurements.

Two angles are supplementary.  The measure of one angle is 30 degrees smaller than twice the other.  Find the measure of each angle.


We have to know that two angles are supplementary if their angle measurements add up to 180 degrees (and remember also that two angles are complementary if their angle measurements add up to 90 degrees, in case you see that).

Let’s define the variables and turn English into Math.  Let x = the first angle, and y = the second angle; we really don’t need to worry at this point about which angle is bigger; the math will take care of itself.

Then we know that x plus y must equal 180 degrees by definition, and also x = 2y – 30. (Remember the English-to-Math chart?)  Let’s solve:

Systems of Equations Geometry Word ProblemSee – these are getting easier!  

Here’s one that’s a little tricky though:

Work Problem

8 women and 12 girls can paint a large mural in 10 hours.  6 women and 8 girls can paint it in 14 hours.  Find the time to paint the mural, by 1 woman alone, and 1 girl alone.


(This is a “work problem” that is typically seen when studying Rational Equations – fraction with variables in them –  and can be found here in the Rational Expressions and Functions section.)   But let’s solve it with using systems.  (There’s also a simpler version of this problem here in the Direct, Inverse, Joint and Combined Variation section).

Let’s let w = the part of the job by 1 woman in 1 hour, and g = the part of the job by 1 girl in 1 hour.  Let’s set up and solve:

Work Problems with SystemsLet’s do one more with three equations and three unknowns:

Three Variable Word Problem:

A florist is making 5 identical bridesmaid bouquets for a wedding.  She has $610 to spend (including tax) and wants 24 flowers for each bouquet.  Roses cost $6 each, tulips cost $4 each, and lilies cost $3 each.  She wants to have twice as many roses as the other 2 flowers combined in each bouquet.  How many roses, tulips, and lilies are in each bouquet?


Let’s look at the question that is being asked and define our variables:  Let r  = the number of roses, t  = the number of tulips, and l  = the number of lilies.  So let’s put the money terms together, and also the counting terms together:

Now let’s do the math:

Systems of Equations Three Equations

The “Candy” Problem

Sometimes we get lucky and can solve a system of equations where we have more unknowns (variables) then equations.   (Actually, I think it’s not so much luck, but having good problem writers!)    Here’s one like that:

Sarah buys 2 lb of jelly beans and 4 lb of chocolates for $4.00.  She then buys 1 lb of jelly beans and 4 lbs of caramels for $3.00.  She also buys 1 lb of jelly beans, 3 lbs of licorice and 1 lb of caramels for $1.50.   How much will it cost to buy 1 lb of each of the four candies?


Let’s look at the question that is being asked and define our variables:  Let j = the cost of 1 lb of jelly beans, o = the cost of 1 lb of chocolates, l = the cost of 1 lb of licorice, and c = the cost of 1 lb of caramels.  So we have this system of equations:

Candy Problem

Now let’s try to do the math:

Candy Problem Math

You can find a Right Triangle Trigonometry systems problem here in the Right Triangle Trigonometry section.

Understand these problems, and practice, practice, practice!

Click on Submit (the arrow to the right of the problem) to solve this problem. You can also type in more problems, or click on the 3 dots in the upper right hand corner to drill down for example problems.

If you click on “Tap to view steps”, you will go to the Mathway site, where you can register for the full version (steps included) of the software.  You can even get math worksheets.

You can also go to the Mathway site here, where you can register, or just use the software for free without the detailed solutions.  There is even a Mathway App for your mobile device.  Enjoy!

On to Algebraic Functions – you’re ready! 

165 thoughts on “Systems of Linear Equations and Word Problems

  1. this did not help me at all… i asked for help to help me with my homework and thhis makes no sense… the problem i have is:
    The yellow pages identify two different electrical businesses. Business A charges $50 for a service call, plus an additional $36 per hour for labor. Business B charges $35 for a service call, plus an additional $39 per hour of labor. At how many hours will the two companies charge the same amount of money?
    this site did not help with this question

      • i have one question

        8 men and 12 boys finish apiece of work in 10 hours .And 6 men and 10 boys finishes the same work in 14 hours what is the speed of one man and that of boy yo finsh the work

        • This is a great problem – I think I’ll add it to my site. Let m = part of job by one man in one hour, and b = the part of the job by 1 boy in one hour. So we have 10 hours with 8 men and 12 boys that do 1 job, and 14 hours with 6 men and 8 (I think you mean 8, not 10 – 10 will not work) boys that do 1 job. (sort of like rate * time = distance, but distance = 1).
          So 10(8m + 12b) = 1, and 14(6m + 8b) = 1, so solving this, m = 1/140 and b = 1/280. So it would take 140 hours for one man to do the job, and 280 for one boy.

          I went ahead and added to my site here and here.

  2. Can you help me solve this problem?

    An executive in an engineering firm earns a monthly salary plus a Christmas bonus of 6100 dollars. If she earns a total of 90600 dollars per year, what is her monthly salary in dollars?

    • Yes! Let x = the first integer; 2x + 3 = the second integer. x + 2x + 3 = 51, so 3x = 48, so x = 16. The other integer is 35. Does that make sense?

    • Good question, Meera!!
      Take a look at it again – I tried to add more steps to make it more clear. We are using the middle equation to substitute into the first and third equations. Does that makes sense? Lisa

  3. I completely understand thanks so much. See I have been studying all summer on algebra 1 because I want to take test that lets me skip it so this website let me move past the systems of equations unit!


  4. I have a doubt. In a school cricket tournament was held. Sachin hits only fours and sixes.He scored 112 runs. Number of fours were twice the number of sixes. How many fours and sixes he scored? Please answer me for dis as soon as poss. Thank you.

    • I don’t know cricket at all, but here goes 😉 Let f = the number of fours that he scores and s = the number of sixes that he scores. 4f + 6s = 112. f = 2s. Solve by substitution: 4(2s) + 6s = 112; 14s = 112; s = 8. f = 2s = 16. So he scores 8 sixes and 16 fours. Does that make sense? Lisa

  5. can you help me lisa?
    given two numbers. The second number equal to six times the first number after the minus one. The second number is also equal to the first number squared and added three. determine the number?

    • Sure – I can try! Let x = the first number and y = the second number. y = 6(x – 1); y = x^2 + 3 Is that what you meant? Then put the two y’s together and get 6x-6=x^2+3. Then put everything to one side, and get x^2 -6x +9 = 0. Then factor to get (x-3)(x-3). So the first number is 3 and the second is 12. Does that make sense?

  6. algebra word problems. need helps..question is as follows..
    A marketing director notices that the sales level for a certain product and amount spent on television advertising are linearly related. When $6000 is spent on television advertising, sales for the product are $255,000, and when $8000 is spent on television advertising, sales for the product are $305,000. Find an equation that gives the sales level for the product in terms of the amount spent on television advertising. Very urgent need..

    • Hi! Thanks for writing. I put the numbers in my calculator and did a linear regression (is that what you guys are doing?) and got
      Y= 25x + 105000

      Hope that helps.

  7. Can any help mi to solve this problem!!!!
    A small garden is divided by a fence into two parts, a square and an isosceles triangle, as given in the following diagram (not to scale). The perimeter of the whole garden is 5 metres longer than the perimeter of the square part. The perimeter of the triangular part is equal to the perimeter of the square part. Find the width w in metres.

  8. I got 2 equations and 2 unknowns : t is side of triangle and w is side of square (width?).

    2t + 3w = 3w + 5
    2t = 3w
    W= 5/3. T= 5/2
    Hope this helps!

  9. On your example Solving Systems with Substitution, where did the 300 come from? This makes it very confusing to follow. My question is similar. Where do I pull out a number that is not in the equation?

    A hospital has a budget of $1500 to purchase aspirin and penicillin. The pharmaceutical company sells aspirin for $50 a box and penicillin for $75 a box. How many boxes of each can they purchase? The answer is simple but it is confusing putting it into a formula according to your example of Solving Systems with Substitution.

    • Hi! Thanks so much for writing!
      I think you mean the 300 that comes from “pushing through” the 50 and multiplying it first by -j and then by 6. This is the distributive property – when you get rid of parentheses like that, you have to multiply the outside number by both things inside. Does that make sense?
      In your example, I don’t think I can solve the problem until I know how many total boxes of aspirin and penicillin they need to purchase? If we have two unknowns, we need two equations. Do you have more information from that problem?

  10. Just stopping by to say thanks. Your site is a big help when it comes to puzzling through these problems and getting them to make sense. So…

    Thank you!

  11. Daniel buys 1 lb of jelly beans and 2 lb of chocolates for $2.00. He then buys 1lb of jelly beans and 2 lbs of caramels for $3.00. He also buys 1 lb of jelly beans, 3lbs licorice and 2 lbs caramels for $1.50. How much will it cost to buy 1lb of each of the four candies?

    1j+2c= 3.00

    • Hi! Thanks for writing. This is a strange problem (I think I’ll add it!) since there are less equations than unknowns. BUT it works out that all when we got to get j + x + l + c, but substituting all variables in terms of j, all the j’s cross out, and we just end up with 2. So 2 is the answer.

      Try that – put the other variables in terms of j and then see what you get for j + x + l + c. Let me know if you need more help for now on this.

      • I have a better way to solve the problem.
        Add equation 1 and 2
        I get 2j+2o+2c=5, then I know j+o+c=2.5.
        now the problem becomes finding the value of l.
        from equation 2, i know j+2c=3, then equation 3
        j+3l+2c=3+3l=1.5, 3l=-1.5, then l=-0.5.
        so j+o+c+l will be 2.5-0.5=2.

  12. Could you help me to solve this problem:

    A sports apparel manufacturer plans to sell a new set of products. Cost charged to the retailer is RM 33 per set. What is the price to be charged by the manufacturer to the retailer so that retailers can reduce the price by 20% and still earn profit of 15% of the cost?

    Thank you

    • Could you explain this problem a little better? You say “cost charged to the retailer is RM 33” and then say what is the price to be charged by the manufacturer to the retailer? What is the difference of these 2 things? Thanks! Lisa

  13. Can you please give me three examples of word problems of linear equation in one variable about work? Please, I just need those for my project. Please help me.

    • Sure! 1) A company hired Ann with a $5K bonus and $35K a year. How much money will she have earned in x years? F(x) = 35000x + 5000
      2) A jewelry store pays Laura $40K a year plus 2% of every sale she makes. How much will she make in a year if she sells x dollars in jewelry? F(x) = 40000 + .02x
      3) A clothing store has a huge sale with everything 75% off. How much will Julie spend if she buys clothes that are worth x dollars at the regular price? F(x) = .25x

      Hope that helps – Lisa

  14. My daughter needs help with problem number 13.
    Thank you for your help.

    Mrs. Travis wants to have a clown deliver balloons to her secretary’s office. Clowns R Fun charges $1.25 per balloon and $6 delivery. Singing Balloons charges $1.95 per balloon and $2 for delivery. What is the minimum number of balloons Mrs. Travis needs to purchase in order for Clowns R Fun to have a lower price than Singing Balloons?

    • Thanks for writing. Here’s how I would solve the problem:
      You want to find where the two equations intersect. Let b = the number of balloons that Mrs. Travis would need to purchase – so it would be 1.25b + 6 = 1.95b + 2. Solve for b and get around 5.7. But plugging in 5.7, you’d still have Clowns R Run costing more. So they would need to purchase 6 balloons.

      • “Sarah buys 1 lb of jelly beans and 2 lb of chocolates for $2.00. She then buys 1 lb of jelly beans and 2 lbs of caramels for $3.00. She also buys 1 lb of jelly beans, 3lbs of licorice and 2 lbs of caramels for $1.50. How much will it cost to buy 1lb of each of the four candies?”
        This is an absurd problem as i get the price for 1lb licorice is -$0.5. What does it mean? When I buy 1lb licorice, the business owner gives me $0.5? I think the better way is change $1.5 to $4.5. That will make the problem sense!

        • Yes – I did this problem after someone asked me earlier:
          Daniel buys 1 lb of jelly beans and 2 lb of chocolates for $2.00. He then buys 1lb of jelly beans and 2 lbs of caramels for $3.00. He also buys 1 lb of jelly beans, 3lbs licorice and 2 lbs caramels for $1.50. How much will it cost to buy 1lb of each of the four candies?

          1j+2c= 3.00

          Reply ↓

          on December 9, 2013 at 10:23 pm said: Edit
          Hi! Thanks for writing. This is a strange problem (I think I’ll add it!) since there are less equations than unknowns. BUT it works out that all when we got to get j + x + l + c, but substituting all variables in terms of j, all the j’s cross out, and we just end up with 2. So 2 is the answer.

          Try that – put the other variables in terms of j and then see what you get for j + x + l + c. Let me know if you need more help for now on this.

          Reply ↓

  15. To fill a tank from two tabs getting 15 days. Two tabs start till 12 days and close one tabe. To fill the getting more 8 days then find days fill tank to seprate tabs plz send me answer

    • Here’s what I got: Since it takes 2 tabs to fill a tank in 15 days, after 12 days of both tabs, the “job” will be 12/15 done. Then with one tab on for the next 8 hours, we can solve the equation 12/15 + 8/x = 1 to get x = 40 days for one of the tabs to fill the job. Then put it back in the equation “together/alone + together/alone = 1”, 15/40 + 15/x = 1, we get the other tab will take 24 days to fill the tank. I’m not sure if this is correct – what do you think? Lisa

  16. Two families go to a hockey game. One family purchases two adult and four youth tickets for $28. Another family purchases four adult tickets for $45.50. Let x represent the cost of one adult ticket and y for the cost of one youth ticket. Write a linear system that represents this situation.

    I having issues solving it can someone help, please?

    • OK, let’s try to translate almost word for word from english to math: 2x + 2y = 28 and 4x = 45. Solve this last equation and get x = 11.25. Then plug this in for x in the first equation: 2(11.25) + 4y = 28; 4y = 28 – 22.50; 4y = 5.5; y = 1.375, or round to 1.38. So x = $11.25 and y = $1.38. Hope that makes sense 🙂

  17. I have this problem that I cannot figure out. I hope you can help me, please.

    A municipal committee decides to build 50 housing units for low income families. These housing units come in three types, A, B, and C. Type A units will cost $500K each to build and will provide the city with revenue from rental payments of the amount $25K per year. The corresponding numbers for type B units are $625K and $30K per year, and the numbers for type C units are $400K and $22.5K per year.

    If the total cost to build the 50 units was $24,750,000; and the yearly revenue from rental payments is $1,262,500; how many of each type of unit was built by the city?

    • Thanks for writing. I set up a system of equations with 3 equations and 3 unknowns: A + B + C = 50; 500A + 625B + 400C = 24750 (since the other numbers are in thousands), and 25A + 30B + 22.C = 1262.5.
      When I put the matrices in the calculator and solved, I got A = 25, B = 10, and C = 15.
      Let me know if you have any more questions 😉

  18. I am trying to learn how to use a TI 84 plus silver edition algebraic calculator. I keep getting “error” when I try to graph these two equations for the intersecting point.
    Please help.
    y = x – 4
    y = -x + 10

    • Hi and thanks for writing! Are you using the “minus” sign (under the X sign) for the first equation, and the “negative” sign (under the 3)? When are you getting the error? Sorry you are having trouble ;( Lisa

  19. A 500 g jar of mixed nuts contain 30% cashews, 20% almonds, and 50% peanuts.
    a. How many grams of cashews must you add to increase the percentage of cashews to 40%? What is the new percentage of almonds and peanuts?
    b. How many grams of almonds must you add to the original mixture to make the percentage of almonds and cashews the same? Now what is the percentage of each type of nut?

    c + a + p = 500
    .3c + .2a + .5p = 1(500)

    ? then what?

    • Thanks for writing! This is a tricky one; what I did for a) was to find out how many grams of cashews there were to begin with (.3 x 500 = 150 g. cashews out of 500g). Then I set up a table and came up with the following formula: 150 + x = .4(500 + x), and got about 83.3 grams of cashews to add to the 150g to get to about 233.3g (out of a total 583.3). I also see that originally there were 100g of almonds (20% of 500g) and 250g of peanuts (50% of 500g). So after adding the 83.3g of cashews, we’d have 100/583.3=17.1438% of almonds and 250/583.3g of peanuts or 42.859%. Add up all the percentages now and you get 100% – yeah!
      For b), I just used the equation (100 + x)/(500 + x) = 150/(500 + x), and got 50 g of almonds to add – then the % of almonds and cashews will both be 27.27% and the % of peanuts will go down to (250/550) or 45.45%.
      Hope this helps!

  20. I would greatly appreciate your help solving this word problem. Thanks in advance!

    You have $100 to spend on a barbeque where you want to serve chicken and steak. Chicken costs $1.29 per pound and steak costs $3.49 per pound. Find a function that relates the amount of chicken and the amount of steak you can buy. Then graph the function. What is the meaning of the slope in this context? Use this ( and any other information represented by the equation or graph) to discuss what your options are for the amounts of chicken and amount of steak you can buy for the barbeque.

    • Thanks for writing! Good problem! If you let x = lbs of chicken you can buy and y = amount of steak you can buy, you get 1.29x + 3.49y = 100. Solve for y to get the function: y = 100/3.49 – (1.29/3.49)x. The slope is -1.29/3.49, or about -.37. It’s negative, so the positive amount of the slope would represent how much less steak (lbs) you could buy if you were to buy 1 more lb of chicken. You also have to remember that the domain (how much chicken you can buy) has to start at 0 and end at around 77.52, so you don’t have negative amounts of chicken or steak. I could see that by graphing the function. For the steak, you can buy 0 lbs up to about 28.65 (the y intercept). Does this make sense? Can you see how to graph it? Lisa

  21. It’s starting to make sense,many thanks to you, but I’m still not sure about how to graph it. Would the Y axis represent cost/dollars, and the X axis represent pounds? I’m not sure what increments to use for the cost, if this is correct. Your help is so much appreciated! Wendy

    • I would make x the number of lbs of chicken (you can make x go from 1 to say 80 by 10’s) and y the number of lbs of steak (make y go from 0 to 30 and count by 10’s). You will have a line coming down and sort of creating a triangle – a negative slope. Every point on the line represents how much steak you can buy (the y), given that much chicken bought (the x). Does that make sense?

  22. Can you please give me five examples of word problems of system of linear equation and quadratic equation. i need it for my project. pls. w/ sol.

  23. Maximizing the Yield for Stock Investments Using a System of Linear Inequalities with a Geometric Approach

    The financial manager of a company has $17,000 to invest in low-risk, medium-risk, and high-risk stocks. The amount invested in low-risk stocks, will be at most $3000 more than the amount invested in medium-risk stocks. At least $7,000 will be invested in low-risk and medium-risk stocks. No more than $13,000 can be invested in medium risk and high-risk stocks. The expected yields on the stocks are 6% for low-risk, 7% for medium-risk, and 8% for high-risk. The financial manager will choose the amount to invest in each type of stock in order to maximize the yield on the company’s investment.

    1.Name in words the three quantities that must be determined.

    2.Write the three quantities algebraically using only the variables x and y. Use the variables x and y to represent the first two quantities. Then use the variables x and y to write an expression representing the third quantity using the fact that the total amount to be invested is $17,000.

    Write the complete set of inequalities needed to solve the problem using the given information. Simplify the expressions in the inequalities by combining like terms. Include inequalities specifying that the amount of each type of investment must be greater than or equal to 0.

    3.Write the objective function to compute the total yield from the three types of investments. Simplify the expression by multiplying to remove parentheses, and by combining like terms.

    4.Use scratch paper to graph the system of inequalities to determine the points of intersection on the boundary of the feasible set. Compute the coordinates of the points of intersection on this boundary by solving each set of 2 equations that intersect on the boundary of the feasible set. List the resulting points.

    5.Substitute the coordinates from each of the points computed in question 5 in the total yield equation from question 4 to test for the maximum total yield. Identify the point that results in the maximum total yield. What is the yield for this choice?

    6.Use the point identified in question 6 to compute the amounts to be invested in each type of stock in order to maximize the yield on the company’s investment.

    I am having the hardest time with this assignment I have been trying to figure it out for a week! Please help!

  24. Good morning,
    I am a grandmother with a grandson in the 9th grade taking coordinated algebra. I try to teach myself what he is learning so that I can review the concepts with him. I have been jumping from one website to another trying to relearn this math that I took in 1961. I just came upon your website and found it extremely helpful. You provide a comprehensive coverage of each unit through all of the areas in the unit and through step by step explanation on how to sample solve problems. Thank you for your great work. He will be taking Analytic Geometry next school year and I will be studying your course during the summer. Again thanks.

    • Octavia,
      Thanks so much for taking the time out to write me; notes like these really want to make me keep going!!! If you have any suggestions for the site – like what I don’t cover very well – please let me know (or if you see any mistakes 😉 Thanks again for your note; it made my day! Lisa

  25. Can you help me with this problem?
    Jane invests $9885 into 2 accounts. A savings account earns 6% interest, while a money market account earns 9.5% interest. After one year she made $696.35 interest from both accounts. How much did she invest into each account?
    Thank You! 🙂

    • Sure! Remember that interest is typically a percentage, and you have to turn the percents into decimals. So you have x + y = 9885 and .06x + .095y = 696.35. Solve the system and you get x (amt at 6%) = 6935, and y (amt at 9.5%) = 2950. I used matrices to solve on the graphing calculator, but you can also use substitution. Hope that helps! Lisa

  26. Can you help me solve?
    Pam works $25 an hour. A total of 22% of her salary is deducted for taxes and insurance. How many hours must she work to take home $4680

    • I would set up like this: .78(25x) = 4680. This is because if she pays 22% of her salary for taxes and insurance, she’ll only have 78% of it left. Then solve for x to get 240 hours. Check it back to get 25 * 240 = $6000 – .22(6000) = $4680. Does that make sense? Lisa

  27. Can you help me with this problem?

    Over the last three evenings, Martina received a total of
    73 phone calls at the call center. The first evening, she received 5
    more calls than the second evening. The third evening, she received
    2 times as many calls as the second evening. How many phone calls did she receive each evening?

    Thank you!!

    • Sure! Let x, y, and z = the number of phone calls for the respective 3 nights. Then x+y+z=73, x=y+5, and z=2y. You can solve by substitution to get y+5+y+2y=73, or 4y=68, or y=17. Then x=22 and z=34. Does that make sense? Lisa

  28. The Gonzales family and the James family each used their sprinklers last summer. The water output rate for the Gonzales family’s sprinkler was 35 L per hour. The water output rate for the James family’s sprinkler was 30L per hour. The families used their sprinklers for a combined total of 55
    hours, resulting in a total water output of 1850L. How long was each sprinkler used?

    • Thanks for writing! Here’s what I get: 35x + 30y = 1850 , x + y = 55. (match units). We can use substitution to see that x = 55 – y, so 35(55 – y) + 30y = 1850. We can simplify to 5y = 75, or y = 15. So then x = 55 – y, or 40. So the Gonzales used 40 hours, and the James used 15 hours. Does that make sense? Lisa

  29. I was wondering if I can get some help with the following question?
    Four parts purple and 5 parts white make a nice lavender. How can you make 72 oz. of it?

    Thank you in advance.

    • I would do the problem this way: We need ratios of 4 to 5 that would make up 72 ounces. So we could set up 4/9 = x/72 (with total on the bottom) to get the amount of purple. Cross multiply to get x = 32 oz. So we could use 32 oz of purple and 40 oz (72 – 30) of white. Does that make sense? Lisa

  30. Marina had $24,500 to invest. She divided the money into three different accounts. At the end of the year, she had made $1,300 in interest. The annual yield on each of the three accounts was 4%, 5.5% and 6%. If the amount of money in the 4% account was four times the amount of money in the 5.5% account, how much had she placed in each account?

  31. Last Tuesday, regal cinemas sold a total of 8500 movie tickets . Proceeds totaled $65,600. Tickets can be bought in one of 3 ways a matinee admission cost $5, student admission is $6 all day and regular admissions are $8.50. How many type of ticket was sold if twice as many students tickets were sold as matinee tickets ?

    • Here’s how I would do this: x = matinee, y = student, z = regular, x + y + z = 8500, 5x + 6y + 8.5z = 64600 (think you had a typo?), 2x = y. Putting it in a matrix and solving, I get x = 900, y = 1800, and z = 5800. Hope this helps 🙂 Lisa

  32. Sorry for asking so much questions ! Lol but I need help in this problem : billy restaurant ordered 200 flowers for Mother’s Day. They order carnations at $1.50 each, roses at $5.75 each and daisies at $2.60 each. They order mostly carnations and 20 fewer roses than daisies. The total order came to $589.50. How many of each type of flower was order ?
    For x=carnations, y=roses, z=daisies
    Than the third eaquation I don’t know

  33. Can u help me for this..
    A three digit number is such that the sum of the digit is 12.if the digit are reversed the resulting number is 198 less than the original number.and also the hundreds digit is equal to the sum of the ones digit and the tens digit. Find the original number.

    • Thanks for writing! Let x = the hundred’s digit, y = the ten’s digit, and z = the one’s digit. Then we know that x + y + z = 12. The number will be 100x + 10y + z (try it with some numbers and you’ll see). So if you reverse the digits, you have 100z + 10y + x. So for the second sentence, we have 100z + 10y + x = 100x + 10y + z – 198. Then we have y = x + z for the last part of that sentence.
      To solve, I’ll put in a matrix (or you can use substitution) to get x = 4, y = 6, and z = 2. So the original number is 462. If you check it back with the problem, it looks like it works! Does this make sense? Lisa

  34. Here is my problem (I -know- I have solved problems like this years ago… I just cannot recall all of the set up):

    Joe needs to mix 50 pounds of bird food that is 23% protein. Millet is 15% protein, sunflower seed is 20% protein, and ground nuts are 28% protein. Due to the cost, Joe must use more millet than sunflower seed, and more sunflower seed than ground nuts; he must use all three ingredients. How much of each does he need?

    Thanks much for your help (I realize this is not the “tightest” written problem– all the help I can find gives another equation– sometimes irl there is not “another equation”!)

    • Thanks for writing! I’d set it up this way: x + y + z = 50, .15x + .20y + .28z = .23(50); x > 0, y > 0, z > 0, x > y, y > z (or z < y < x). There could actually be an infinite number of solutions to this equation; I know you could solve it by graphing in a 3D space, but I have to think about how to do that. Let me think about it and get back to you 😉 Lisa MORE INFO: OK, I used elimination to get x = -30 + 1.6z and y = 80 - 2.6z (let me know if you want to see this). Then I put these equations in the graphing calculator and looked at the table to get values for x, y, and z that work for the inequalities, and I couldn't find a solution. I did find that one solution is x = 10, y = 15, and z = 25, if the inequality is switched around. Are you sure the problem is stated correctly? Thanks, Lisa

  35. This helped me a lot but I still have some questions and I’m somewhat confused. Can you give me 5 word problems of business & investment with 3 variables?? With solution please 🙂 I guess that will help me a lot

    • Hi David – thanks for writing! Here’s an example of one: If someone had 3 investments they wanted to invest in, where one pays 20%, one pays 10% and one pays 12%, and the total amount to invest is $20000. They want to invest 2 times as much in the 20% as the 12%. Also, know they will make $3100 for the year in the investments. How much should they invest in each investment? If you solve the system of equations, you’ll get 20% $10000, 10% 5000 and 10% 5000. Hope that helps. Lisa

  36. Hi there. I am struggling with this problem please help!
    A hunger relief organization has earmarked between $3 and $4 million (inclusive) for aid to two African Countries, Country A and Country B. Country A is to receive between $1.5 and $2.25 million (inclusive) and Country B is to receive at least $1.25 million. It has been estimated that each dollar spent in Country A will yield an effective return of $0.70, whereas a dollar spent in Country B will yield an effective return of $0.85. How should aid be allocated so that the total effective yeild is as large as possible? what is the maximum yield?

    I wrote that the maximum yield equation would be P=0.70x + 0.85y
    Is this on the right track, and what am I supposed to do next?

    • Yes, I believe you are! The constraints would be 3M less than or equal to x + y less than or equal to 4M, 1.5M less than or equal to x less than or equal to 2.25, and y greater than or equal to 1.25M. Then you can graph (or use another method) to maximize the yield, based on the constraints. Does that make sense? Lisa (sorry – my less than or equal to signs don’t work when I respond, so I had to spell it out…)

  37. Wow your site looks amazing. We are on spring break in college and I’m stuck. Here it goes…
    A delivery truck is transporting boxes of two sizes: large and small. The combined weight of a large box and a small box is 85 pounds. The truck is transporting 65 large boxes and 50 small boxes. If the truck is carrying a total of 5000 pounds in boxes, how much does each type of box weigh?
    So far I have…
    x + y = 85
    65x + 50y = 5000
    I’m lost from here……can you please help???!!

    • Thanks for writing! Yes – you set it up correctly, and now we have to solve. I’d use substitution, so y = 85 – x. Then you have 65x + 50(85 – x) = 5000, or x = 50. Then y = 85 – x = 35. Does that makes sense? Lisa

      • OMG YESSSSSSSSSSSS!!! Thank you so so much!! After your explanation I was able to solve immediately, it was like a light bulb went off! I have a few more to do but I get it now. You made it really easy to understand. I can’t thank you enough. I will definitely be back to your site!!!

  38. My Professor finally got back to me. In case anyone wanted the answer:
    the 2 equations I had were right. The third equation should be : B=2f

      • Now I have to solve by elimination which I am still confused on and I have to show my work. How would I set up the 3 equations? Do I change the last one to B-2f=0 so that all variables are on one side of the equation? Then I need to eliminate 1 variable. Can you walk me through that process or give me a link that would explain it please?
        Thanks so much.

        • No problem! YES exactly – change the last one to b – 2f = 0. To solve by elimination, subtract this equation from the second equation to get c +3f = 173. Then multiply the second equations by -53 and add to the first equations to get -14c – 10f = -1174. Then use elimination again for the two equations with c and f in them: multiply the first by 14 and add to second to get 32f = 1248. So f = 39. Then we know that b = 78, and c = 56. Does that make sense? Lisa

  39. Could you help me with this problem?

    Tickets to the Valentine Dance cost $3 per person or $5 per couple. If $475 worth of tickets were sold and 180 people attended the dance, how many couples were there?

    • Thanks for writing. Let x = number of single people there and y = number of couples. I get x + 2y = 180 and 3x + 5y = 475. Solving, I get x = 50 and y = 65. So here were 65 couples there. Does that make sense? Lisa

  40. Hi there! I don’t know if this is the right math section, but I have a question that I tried to solve with simultaneous equations. It goes like this:

    There are two candy jars, A and B. Jar A has 400 jellybeans and Jar B has 300. 75% of the jellybeans in Jar A are red and the rest are yellow. 50% of the jellybeans in Jar B are red and the rest are yellow. Some jellybeans are moved from Jar A to Jar B such that 80% of the jellybeans in Jar A are now red, and 40% of the jellybeans in Jar B are now yellow. How many beans were moved from Jar A to Jar B?

    My equations are:
    80% = 300 – R / 400 – (R + Y) and
    40% = 150 + Y / 300 + (R + Y).

    Does that sound right? Or am I using the wrong type of math? When I re-arranged the numbers and got R and Y jellybeans moved, I plugged them back in to the above equations but didn’t get 80% or 40% :-/

    Thank you so much if you can help me! -Scott

    • Thanks for writing – this is a good problem! Let R be the number of red moved over, Y the number of yellow moved over. Here are the two equations I got: (300 – R)/(400 – (R + Y)) = .8 and (150 + y)/(300 + R + Y) = .4 Solving, I got R = 180 and Y = 70, which seems to work. Does that make sense? Lisa

      • Thanks for your reply Lisa! I tried it again and it turns out I was just making arithmetic errors. I got 180 and 70 also. 🙂 Great website btw, very helpful! Thanks so much!! -Scott

  41. the ministry of health has set aside funds to encourage voluntary HIV testing and counselling. this funds will be allocated to to private health service facilities where they will receive $550 for every person tested or counselled. a certain provider, has worked out that it will cost $550000 to test 1000 people and $600000 for 2000 people. assuming a linear relationship between the cost, revenue and visitors. determine:
    1. revenue function
    2. cost function
    3. profit function
    4. variable, fixed and total costs of testing 3500 visitors
    5. average cost of testing 3500 visitors
    6. number of visitors required for the provider to break even
    7.what is the monetary break even for the provider

  42. Are you able to help me with the following question?
    A theatre offers 3 levels of seating: lower balcony, middle balcony and mezzanine. One group of people buys 4 mezzanine tickets and 6 lower balcony tickets for $444. Another group spends $614 for 2 mezzanine tickets, 7 lower balcony tickets and 8 middle balcony tickets. A third group purchases 3 lower balcony tickets and 12 middle balcony tickets for $474. What is the individual price of a mezzanine ticket, a lower balcony ticket and a middle balcony ticket?

    • Thanks for writing! Here’s how I’d set this problem up. Let e = mezz, m = middle, and l = lower: 4e + 6l = 444, 2e + 7l + 8m = 614. 3l + 12m = 474. I then put this 3-variable system into my calculator (using matrices) and got mezz cost $54, middle cost $30, and lower cost $38. Does that make sense? Lisa

  43. I have 2 questions would like to ask:
    1) Blink appliances has a sale on microwaves and stoves. Each microwave requires 2 hours to unpack and set up, and each stove requires 1 hour. The storeroom space is limited to 50 items. The budget of the store allows only 80 hours of employee time for unpacking and setup. Microwaves sell for $300 each and stoves sell for $200 each. How many of each should the store order to maximise revenue?

    2) An appliance company has a warehouse and two terminals. To minimise shipping costs, the operations manager must decide how many appliances should be shipped to each terminal. There is a total (maximum) supply of 1200 units in the warehouse and a demand for (at least) 400 units in terminal A and 500 units in terminal B. It costs $12 to ship to terminal A and $16 to ship to terminal B. how many units should be shipped to each terminal in order to minimise cost?

  44. Hope you can help me with these questions…..
    Use the techniques if differentiation to differentiate the following equations:

    • Thanks for writing! Let me try the first one (a) to see if it makes sense: we will have y = 1/2 (x^4 + 2x^2 + 2)(2 + 1/x^2). I’d probably multiply the three terms together to get y = x^4 + 2x^2 + 2 + (1/2)x^2 + 1 + x^-2 = x^4 + (5/2)x^2 + 3 + x^-2.
      When we differentiate, we get dy/dx = 4x^3 + 5x – 2x^-3. Does this make sense? Lisa

  45. A theatre offers 3 levels of seating: lower balcony, middle balcony and mezzanine. One group of people buys 4 mezzanine tickets and 6 lower balcony tickets for $444. Another group spends $614 for 2 mezzanine tickets, 7 lower balcony tickets and 8 middle balcony tickets. A third group purchases 3 lower balcony tickets and 12 middle balcony tickets for $474.
    What is the individual price of a mezzanine ticket, a lower balcony ticket and a middle balcony ticket?

    • Thanks for writing! Here’s how I’d set this problem up. Let e = mezz, m = middle, and l = lower: 4e + 6l = 444, 2e + 7l + 8m = 614. 3l + 12m = 474. I then put this 3-variable system into my calculator (using matrices) and got mezz cost $54, middle cost $30, and lower cost $38. Does that make sense? Lisa

  46. Can you help me with this word problem? Thanks in advance!
    A tobacconist wishes to blend two grades of tobacco costing 8 cents an ounce and 10 cents an ounce respectively, and to sell the mixture at 12 cents an ounce with a profit of 25 per cent of the cost. how many ounces of each kind must he use to the pound?

  47. Hi can u please help me with this world problem?
    In 2009, there was a combined total of 4,046 Gap and Aeropostale clothing stores worldwide. The number of Gap stores was 3 1/4 times more than the number of Aeropostale stores. How many Gap stores and how many Aeropostale stores were there that year?
    Plz help?? Thank you so much if u can.

    • Thanks for writing! Here’s how I’d do this problem: G + A = 4046, and G = 3.25A. Solve by substitution to get 3.25A + A = 4046, or 4.25A = 4046. So A = 952. Then G = 952*3.25 = 3094. Check the answer and it works! Does that make sense? Lisa

  48. Can you please give me 1 easy, average and difficult word problems, the answers should be prices of fruits? Please, I need this for a project.

    • Here’s a problem with fruit – let me know if it’s easy, average, or difficult, and I can think of more?
      Lisa bought 19 pieces of fruit that consist of apples, bananas, and pears. She bought twice as many apples as bananas. Apples cost $.75 each, bananas $.25 each and pears $1.50 each. The 11 pieces of fruit cost Lisa $14.75. How many of each type of fruit did Lisa buy?

    You purchased T-shirts and sweatshirts for the math club at your school. T-shirts cost $12 each, and sweatshirts cost $20 each. You order 6 more T-shirts than sweatshirts. The total cost is $296. How many T-shirts did you order?

    • Thanks for writing. Here’s how I’d do this problem using a system (t = number of t-shirts, s = number of sweatshirts): 12t + 20s = 296, t = 6 + s. Substituting and solving, we get s = 7 and t = 13. So ordered 13 t-shirts. Does that make sense? Lisa (if not sure about the equations, put real numbers in and see how it works)

  50. Please help!

    Ralph invests $15,600 into two different accounts; a savings account and checking account. The savings account earns 8% interest and the checking earns 9%. After 1 year he has earned $1334.28 interest. How much did Ralph invest into each account?

    • ance Armstrong can ride 162 miles on flat ground in 6 hours with a good breeze at his back. It takes him 10 hours to go 90 miles with the same breeze working against him. How fast is Lance going on a bike and how fast is the wind speed?

      • Thanks for writing; here’s how I’d do this problem: Since Distance/Time = Rate, we have the Rate of Lance going with the wind (Bike + Wind) = 162/6 = 27mph. Similarly, against the wind (Bike – Wind) he goes 90/10 mph. So we can set up a system: B + W = 27, and B – W = 9. Solving, we get B (Lance on a bike) = 18 and W (speed of wind) = 9. Does that make sense? Lisa

    • Thanks for writing. Here’s how I’d do this problem: .08s + .09c = 1334.28, s + c = 15600. You can use substitution or even matrices to solve to get s = $6972 and c = $8628. Does that make sense? Lisa

  51. Suppose you are buying two kinds of notebooks for school. A spiral notebook costs $2,
    and a three-ring notebook costs $5. You must have at least 6 notebooks. The cost of the
    notebooks can be no more than $20.

    • 2s + 5t less than or equal to 20, and s + t greater than or equal to 6. I would graph this to get the following (spiral, three-ring) points that would work (look in shaded regions of inequalities): (6,0), (7,0), (8,0), (9,0), (10,0), (5,1), (6,1), (7,1), (4,2), (5,2). Does that make sense? Lisa

  52. 2. Eric has 130 coins consisting of nickels and quarters. The coins combined value comes to $15.90. Find out how many of each coin Eric has.

    Thank You So Much!!

  53. Hi! Can you give me an 2 examples of Word problems about distance (not airplane word problems please hehe). Systems of linear equations should be used in the solution. Thank you very much!!

  54. I need help with this problem and it’s the last one! The sum of the ages of three children, Dante, Pedro, and Sue, is 27. The sum of Pedro’s and Sue’s ages is twice Dante’s age. Four times the sum of Pedro’s and Dante’s age is equal to five times Sue’s age. How old is each child? Please help I have gotten: d=Dante, p=Pedro, and s=Sue; d+p+s=27 and 2p+2s=d.

    • Here’s how I’d do this problem: d + p + s = 27; p + s = 2d; 4(p + d) = 5s. Then you can solve the linear system to get d = 9, p = 6, and s = 12. Does that makes sense? Lisa

  55. Tammy will rent a car for the weekend. She can choose one of two plans. The first plan has an initial fee of
    and costs an additional
    per mile driven. The second plan has no initial fee but costs
    per mile driven.

    • The way I’d set up these situations is the following: Plan 1: y = .5x + 50, Plan 2: y = .7x I’m not sure what you want to solve here – is there more of the problem? Lisa

  56. This did not help at all. I am looking for a word problem on linear inequalities. This is what I have: Lashonda buys candy that costs $8 per pound. She will buy less than 6 pounds of candy. What are the possible amounts she will spend on candy?

    Use c for the amount (in dollars) Lashonda will spend on candy.
    Write your answer as an inequality solved for c.

    • Thanks for writing! Since Lashonda buys less than 6 pounds of candy, she can spend anywhere from 0 < c < 48. Does that make sense? Lisa

  57. Can you help me solve this…
    Mr Paul works in a music shop in Navua. Over the last three weeks there has been a sale, and
    music CDs in the Jumbo bin have been sold for $10, $15 or $20. One of Mr Jone’s customers
    bought a total of six CDs. The total cost for buying the six CDs was $85. The combined
    number of $15 and $20 CDs that the customer bought was twice as many as the number of
    $10 CDs that he bought.
    a) Set up the system of equations.

    • Here’s how I would set this up: x + y + z = 6, 10x + 15y + 20z = 85, y + z = 2x. I get 2 $10 CDs, 3 $15 CDs and 1 $20 CD. Does that make sense? Lisa

  58. Urgent for tonight.

    Rachel is going to candy store with $20. She must buy at least 3 pounds of gummy bears, at $1.50 per pound and no more than 4 pounds of swedish fish at $2 per pound. Find 2 possible combinations of candy amounts she can buy by writing a system of inequalities and graphing them below.

    • Thanks for writing – here’s how I’d do this problem (x = pounds of gummy bears, y = pounds of swedish fish): x >= 3, 0 < y <= 4, 1.5x + 2y <= 20. When I graph all 3 equations, I get 2 solutions are x = 4, y = 2 and x = 5, y = 1. Does that make sense? Lisa

  59. I used your problems as examples with 3 unknowns, but I still cannot get my problems set up correctly. Can you help? “Ron attends a party. He wants to limit his food intake to 157 g protein, 137 g fat, and 177g carbohydrates. The hostess said that with the 3 items served they have the following: Mushrooms have 3 g protein, 5 g fat and 9 g carbohydrates, Meatballs have 14 g protein, 7 g fat, and 15 g carbohydrates and deviled eggs have 13 g protein, 15 g fat and 6 g carbohydrates. How many of each item can Ron eat to maintain his goal.”

    • Thanks for writing! Here’s how I’d do this problem: x = mushrooms, y = meatballs, and z = deviled eggs. Then you’d have 3x + 14y + 13z = 157, 5x + 7y + 15z = 137, 9x + 15y + 6z = 177 (set up an equation for protein, fat, and carbohydrates). We can put this in a matrix and solve – I get 7 mushrooms, 6 meatballs, and 4 deviled eggs. Does that make sense? Lisa

  60. Can you help me with this inequality problem? At a store there are two types of calculators in stock, graphing and scientific. Let x represent graphing calculators and y scientific calculators. If scientific calculators cost 20 dollars each, and graphing 80 each, and the store has 3000 dollars worth of calculators in stock, write an inequality that represents how many graphing calculators are in stock and how many scientific calculators are in stock. (And then the problem asks for the inequality to be drawn as a line in a graph.

  61. There are a lot of comments in this section. I read most of them. Forgive me if someone already pointed this out.

    The solution to the Candy Store problem is mathematically sound but has a logic fault.

    How can the Licorice “cost” negative $.50 per lb?

    • Hi Corey,
      THANK YOU so much for finding this problem – please let me know if you see anything else. I think I’ve fixed it 😉 Lisa

  62. help me with this A store sells all jeans for $25, all dresses for $50 and all shoes for $20. You have $260 to spend and you want twice as many pairs of jeans as pairs of shoes. Find out how many pairs of jeans, dresses, and pairs of shoes you should get if you want exactly 10 total items?

    • Here’s how I’d do this problem: 25j + 50d + 20s = 260, j + d + s = 10, 2s = j. You can solve using substitution, linear elimination, or matrices; I get j = 6, d = 1, and s = 3. Does that make sense? Lisa

  63. Please need assistance with this question: keep getting the incorrect answer below

    A local hamburger shop sold a combined total of
    hamburgers and cheeseburgers on Monday. There were
    more cheeseburgers sold than hamburgers. How many hamburgers were sold on Monday?

    • Here’s how I’d do this problem: x + y = 708. x + 58 = y. Solving, we get the numbers of hamburgers sold on Monday were 325 and numbers of cheeseburgers were 383. Does that make sense? Lisa

  64. I really need some help with my college math equation:
    Over the last three evenings, Kaitlin received a total of
    phone calls at the call center. The second evening, she received
    more calls than the first evening. The third evening, she received
    times as many calls as the first evening. How many phone calls did she receive each evening?

    • Here’s how I’d do this problem: x + y + z = 119; y = x + 9; z = 3x. This is a system with 3 variables and 3 unknowns; you can substitute to get x + x + 9 + 3x = 119; 5x = 110; x = 22. So she received 22 calls the first evening, 31 calls the second evening, and 66 calls the third. Does that make sense? Lisa

  65. Hi , Can you please give me 5 examples of Word problems application in Linear inequalities in one variable and please with there solution and illustration . Thank you so much

  66. I am stuck on setting up a system of equations for the following problem:
    Robert likes to go to the arcade. Tickets are awarded in different ways for his favorite games.
    Game #1 – 2 tickets per game PLUS 1 ticket for every 60 points scored
    Game #2 – 1 ticket for every point scored
    The ticket dispenser awards the customer tickets based on the point total.
    For each game, x represents the # of points scored & y represents the # of tickets awarded.
    I think my equation for Game 2 would be y=40x but Game 1??? If I could get 2 equations, I think I could solve it from there…

  67. Hey! Can you do an age problem involving systems of linear equation.. I really need it for my project tommorrow so i hope i can have it now.. Thank you

  68. help me with this problem:
    24x^2+25x-47whole divided by ax-2=-8x-3-53/ax-2.divide ax-2 only for -53
    help me with the answer..Thank you

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