Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Kristy, a student:

A trip to Ottawa from Toronto will take 4 1/2 hours. Assuming we are 2/3 the way there, how
much longer will the trip take?

Hi Kristy,

Think about dividing the trip into half hour sections.

Four hours is eight half hours so a four and a half hour trip is nine half hour sections. Two thirds of nine is six so when you are two thirds of the way to Ottawa you have travelled six half hour sections. How much longer will the trip take?

Said in more mathematical language, $4 \frac12 $ is $\frac82 + \frac12 = \frac92.$ $\frac23 \mbox{ of } \frac92 = \frac23 \times \frac92 = 3 \mbox{ hours.}$ How much longer will the trip take?


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