Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from naomi, a parent:

My son having trouble a math problem please help with this question a bag of cough drops contains 36 drops. The fraction of each flavor is shown in the table strawberry 5/12 honey 1/12 cherry 1/6 mint1/9 and lemon 1/4 which flavor is the greatest in the bag

Hi Naomi,

Probably the easiest way to approach this question is to calculate how many of each flavor there are. For example the fraction that is lemon flavored is $\large \frac14$ and $\large \frac14 \normalsize \times 36 = 9$ so the are $9$ lemon flavored cough drops. When you do this you will see that the sum of the numbers you get is not 36. There is something wrong with this question. The problem is that

\[ \frac{5}{12} + \frac {1}{12} + \frac16 + \frac19 + \frac14 \neq 1\]


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