



 
Hi Jennie, Sometimes arriving at a solution to a math problem is not as straightforward as the textbooks make it look. You may have to try different approaches until you find one that works. Suppose for this problem you let $P$ be the number of postcards that Paul has, $S$ be the number of postcards that Shawn has and $T$ be the number of postcards that Tim has. Then you know that \[P + S + T = 280.\] If you can express $P, S$ and $T$ all in terms of the same variable you can solve for it and as a result solve the problem. First approach:
Second approach:
Third approach:
Penny  


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