SEARCH HOME
 Math Central Quandaries & Queries
 Subject: what two numbers equal sum Name: Harold Who are you: Other one number is less than 5 times another number. sum of the numers is 26 One nume minus 4= x-4 5 times a numer 5x x-4<5x=26 Could someone please provide me some insight into how i should set this equation up? Thank you Harold

Hi Harold,

Your question doesn't make sense the way it is worded, then when you start to work on a solution you have the line

One nume minus 4= x-4

and yet there is no 4 in the question. I think the question should be worded

One number is 4 less than 5 times another number. The sum of the numbers is 26. Find the numbers.

I am going to distinguish between the numbers by calling them the first number and the second number. Hence I want to reword the problem to say

The first number is 4 less than 5 times the second number. The sum of the numbers is 26. Find the numbers.

I want to let one of the numbers be x and find an equation to solve for x. I don't know which number to call x so I am going to give both numbers a name.

Let the first number be x and the second number be y. The statement then says that x is 4 less than 5 times y. 5 times y is 5y and 4 less than this is 5y - 4. Thus x = 5y - 4. The sum of the numbers is 26 so

x + y = 26 or, since x = 5y - 4,
5y - 4 + y = 26

So I ended with an equation for y rather than for x but if you can solve this equation for y you know the value of x since x = 5y - 4.

Penny

Math Central is supported by the University of Regina and The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences.