Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Kenneth:


If two people share $\$600$ in a ratio of 2 to 3, which calculations are correct: 2/3 X $\$600$ & 1/3 X $\$600$ or 2/5 X $\$600$ & 3/5 X $\$600?$

The denominator 5 is determined by adding 2 and 3 from the ratio.

I thank you for your reply.

Hi Kenneth,

Imagine that you have the $\$600$ in one dollar bills and you are going to distribute them to the two people in the ratio of 2 to 3. Give the first person 2 bills and the second person 3 bills. What they have is in the ratio of 2 to 3. Now give the first person 2 more bills and the second person 3 more bills. What the have is still in the ratio of 2 to 3. Continue until all the bills are distributed. What you see is that you are organizing the bills into groups of five and for each group the first person gets 2 and the second person gets 3. Hence the first person gets $\frac25 \times \$600$ an the second person gets $\frac35 \times \$600.$


About Math Central


Math Central is supported by the University of Regina and the Imperial Oil Foundation.
Quandaries & Queries page Home page University of Regina