



 
Hi, No one but mathematics textbook authors use such bizarre wordings. It always seems to me that the intent is to obfuscate the problem rather than illuminate it. Suppose Justin caught $J$ fish and his father caught $F$ fish. "Three times the number of fish that Justin caught" is then $3 \times J.$ This number exceeds 12 and hence it is more than 12 and the amount by which it exceeds 12 is $3 \times J  12.$ "5 times the number that his father caught" is $5 \times F$ and the amount that this exceeds 8 is $5 \times F  8.$ These two quantities are equal and hence \[3 \times J  12 = 5 \times F  8.\] Together they caught 12 fish so that gives you a second equation \[J + F = 12.\] Solve these two equations for $J$ and $F.$ Write back if you need more assistance,  


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