Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Debourah, a student:

a soccer field is 1080 square meters the width is 2 meters less than one-third the length. What are the dimensions of the field?

Hi Debourah,

You need to very carefully read what the problem states. Suppose that the width of the field is W metres and the length is L metres, then you know that

L × W = 1080

Furthermore you are told something about the width W and one-third the length 1/3 L. You are told that W is 2 metres less than 1/3 L, that is

W = 1/3 L - 2

Substitute this value for W into the first equation. This will give you one equation in the variable L which you can then solve.

I hope this helps,

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