Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Wanda, a parent:

My daugther has this math problem and I can help her with it....

"Jabari is thinking of three numbers. The greatest number is twice as big as the least number. The middle number is three more than the least number. The sum of the three numbers is 75. Find the numbers."

Can you help me.




All of the work is in the set up. You don't know the numbers (but you want to), so represent them by the unknowns a, b, and c, where a is the least number, b is the middle number and c is the greatest number.

You're given a few pieces of information about the numbers. All you need to do is translate these sentences into (mathematical) sentences involving the unknowns.

The sentence "The greatest number is twice as big as the least number." translates to "c is twice as big as a", or c = 2a.

The other two sentences can be translated in a similar way. Then you have three equations in three unknowns to solve.

Good luck!

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