Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Todd, a parent:

Brett and Jenny are each 10 years old. The sum of their ages is 11. Brett is 5 years older than Jenny. How old are they?

We have two responses for you

Hi Todd,

If Brett and Jenny are each 10 years old, Brett can't be 5 years older and the sum of their age can't be 11. There is something wrong with the information in the question.

Check out a similar question at

Hope this helps,



If they are each 10 years old, then the sum of their ages is 20 years.
Maybe you mean that they are each less than 10 years old?

You’re looking for two numbers, both smaller than 10, that differ by 5
(like 6 and 1) and that add to 11.

Good luck!



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